Good news, but some questions
(a) Because he was a Muslim
(b) Because Pakistan had not sent any troops to Iraq
(c) Because the insurgents feared Pakistan’s ‘no negotiations’ policy
(d) Because he promised not to work for American forces
(e) All the above
The insurgents have shown no qualms in killing Muslim foreigners. And although Pakistan has no troops in Iraq, it is a major American ally. It is unlikely that the kidnappers cared much what Pakistan’s policy on kidnappings was. They could of course let the hostage go off after extracting a solemn promise not to work for the Americans, but that looks more like a ‘cover’ reason for a ransom paid. So far, the Iraqi insurgents have not shown a profit motive in their kidnappings.
Two possibilities emerge. First, the release of the hostage could either mean that the high-profile kidnappings in Iraq have led to copy-cat groups who take hostages for ransom, something on the lines of the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines; and second, this could prove that the insurgency is based on Iraqi nationalism alone, rather than linked to al Qaeda’s designs. It may be time for the United States and its allies to factor in these possibilities in their security calculations for Iraq.