AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: A Canadian tourist has been freed after remaining in the Taliban’s captivity for more than five years in southern Afghanistan, said officials in Toronto, Canada.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion on Monday said that Rutherford, the Canadian citizen, was freed with Qatar’s help. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to the government of Qatar for its assistance in this matter,” Dion said in a media statement.
“Canada is very pleased that efforts undertaken to secure the release of Colin Rutherford from captivity have been successful,” Dion said.
Doin added that he looks forward to facilitate return of Rutherford to Canada and reunite him with his family.
Rutherford was taken hostage by the Taliban in the central province of Ghazni and accused him of being a spy.
Retherford had said in a video released by the Taliban in May 2011 that he came to Afghanistan as a tourist, willing to see historical sites of the country. In that video clip he added that his visit purpose was to see old buildings and shrines of Afghanistan.
The announcement of Rutherford’s release took place at a time when representatives of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China held meeting in Islamabad on Monday, aimed at establishing a roadmap for peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban.