The search continues for two Czech women abducted in south-west Pakistan
The Czech Republic has intensified diplomatic efforts to try to secure the release of two Czech women kidnapped in south-west Pakistan last week. No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction or asked for a ransom. Although the Pakistani authorities are working on the case, previous kidnappings in the troubled province suggest it may take weeks to find them.
“We are in contact with all the relevant authorities in Pakistan, including the intelligence service. They are on the case but obviously they need time to send people out in the field to obtain all the relevant information. That kind of investigation cannot be undertaken in a matter of hours, we may know more in a week’s time.”
“This region is notorious for such kidnappings. Getting across the border to Afganistan is not difficult if you know the terrain so there’s a chance they may have been smuggled there. In any case Baluchistan province is extremely unstable and conditions have deteriorated further in recent months. It may be that the women will be held captive for some time while the assailants take time to figure out what to do next.”
A crisis team of 30 people is working on the case at the Czech Foreign Ministry, including members of the country’s intelligence service. On Monday President Miloš Zeman met with the Pakistani ambassador to Prague and handed over a letter for his Pakistani counterpart, President Asif Ali Zardari, asking for assistance in the matter.
“When something like this occurs in this region the news spreads among the locals. Everyone knows something, but no one is willing to speak.”
In the wake of the kidnapping last Wednesday, the Czech Foreign Ministry placed a warning on its web page advising Czechs against travelling to Baluchistan province.