Islamabad: Pakistani Taliban, which is holding over 25 boys as hostages in neighbouring Afghanistan, has demanded the release of all their comrades from prison in return of the children.

The terror group, which is keeping the Pakistani boys captive in Afghanistan's Kunar province, also asked Bajaur tribesmen to disband all anti-Taliban private militias and end support to the government in return for their release.

"Pakistani Taliban militants are using their substantive bargaining chip to demand the release of all Taliban prisoners in the country," 'The Express Tribune' daily said, which also carried a picture of four of the captives surrounded by AK-47 wielding militants.

Interestingly, a Taliban leader, Maulvi Dadullah, invited a group of Afghan journalists to one of their bases on Tuesday and gave them access to the teenagers.

An Afghan journalist Nematullah Karyab, who had met the children told the daily, "We reached the base in a remote and mountainous region after walking and travelling in vehicles for hours."
While talking to the journalists, Dadullah said he was aware that some of the boys were relatives of army personnel but they had not been captured because of their relations.

After he spoke, Afghan reporters were allowed to talk to the hostages, aged 18 to 20, according to Karyab. Dadaullah said that all the boys had been taken into custody on the Pakistani side of the border and that Taliban had sent their own agents to trap the youngsters who were kidnapped while out picnicking, calling it a "carefully planned operation", the daily said.

He also said there would be no solution to the hostage crisis unless the relatives or the government directly contact the Taliban leaders.

"If all efforts fail then the Shura (council) will make a final decision under Islamic laws," he said.

The Taliban leader warned that the government and the relatives of the hostages would be responsible for any harm to them if they didn't receive "a positive response" to their demands.

(Agencies)