Hunt on to recover missing Swiss couple


No clue has so far been found of the missing Swiss couple abducted Friday afternoon by unknown armed persons despite the joint efforts made by the police, Levies and paramilitary forces for their safe recovery. The Swiss nationals, who entered Pakistan from India on June 28 and crossed into Balochistan on July 1 via Dera Ghazi Khan, were kidnapped from an area, around 12 km away from the Loralai town, and whisked away to some undisclosed location.
The law enforces in close liaison with the tribal notables remained busy in conducting a search operation but their efforts yielded no results. Sohail-ur-Rahman, the deputy commissioner of Loralai district, told this scribe that efforts were being made to recover the Swiss couple and the focus of search operation was Zhob district, which borders Afghanistan and the tribal belt.
He said the local administration apprehended that the Swiss couple might be shifted to FATA and handed over to militant groups.
He said tribal elders of Killa Saifullah, Loralai and Zhob had been approached in an attempt to seek their help. Sohail expressed the hope that the administration would be able find a clue by today (Sunday). Meanwhile, Balochistan IGP Rao Amin Hashim said teams had been constituted for the recovery of abducted Swiss citizens.
According to the AFP, Loralai police chief Ghulam Ali Lashari said officers had found the couple’s Volkswagen vehicle abandoned in Killi Nigah area. The couple arrived at Sirki Jungle checkpoint at about 5:45 pm on Friday, registered as Swiss tourists and were allowed to enter an area controlled by tribal police, Lashari said. Officials quoting witnesses said, “Some unknown gunmen intercepted the Swiss couple when they were travelling in Killi Nigah area and took them away to an unknown place.”
“Our priority is their safe recovery,” Rehman said “We have no clues so far, we have received no demand, no ransom demand from the kidnappers.” Officials said the pair might have been heading for Quetta, perhaps on their way to Iran. The Swiss foreign ministry on Saturday confirmed the kidnapping, saying it was the first case of abductions of Swiss nationals in Pakistan. “The embassy in Islamabad is in permanent contact with the local authorities,” said the ministry. Since 2008, Swiss authorities have advised its citizens against non-essential travel to the south Asian state, citing risks including the threat of kidnapping in Balochistan, Sindh and south of Punjab.