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Czech tourists kidnapping: no contact established with kidnappers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Two Czech women were kidnapped in Pakistan as they traveled to India by bus in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan.

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Two Czech women were kidnapped in Pakistan as they traveled to India by bus in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Balochistan. The driver of the bus from where the Czech girls were abducted said that kidnappers were riding in a Toyota Land Cruiser and forced the women to sit in the back seats with five people sitting on either side of them.

Muno Khan informed the media that the bus started its journey from the Iranian border at around 3:30 pm and reached the spot of the kidnapping around 5:25 pm.

“They [the kidnappers] waved at the bus from around 500 meters away [and ordered it] to stop. Two of them came from the right and 5 others from the left side. The five [who approached from the left] were wearing uniforms, and the 2 [on the right side] were in plain clothes. One of them was holding a wireless set. I thought they were security men who were checking the bus. Then 2 of them came inside the bus and took the AK-47 away from the guard [a man guarding the women] and had them all [the guard and the 2 Czech women] get off the bus,” Muno Khan claimed.

The driver informed media that the women were sitting in the front seat and kidnappers spoke to them in English. Then the conductor removed their luggage. When asked if they had some more things with them, the women said, “Yes.” Then they went back into the bus and took their remaining luggage.

The Interior Ministry of Pakistan, when contacted by the Dispatch News Desk (DND) to comment on the status of abducted tourists, said, “Yes, we are in constant touch with local groups in Baluchistan and [the] Czech Embassy. But it is almost confirmed that [the] same group is involved that abducted [a] Swiss couple on [the] same route, and [that] couple was released after giving [the] alleged ransom. We wait that such [a] ransom demand comes from abductor[s] or not.”

He was of the view that Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Pakistan on its website indicates that travel to Balochistan is not safe, and the girls could have been averted from this kidnapping if they had taken another route. The MFA said the security situation in the province of Balochistan has deteriorated, especially in the northern and western parts, and, therefore, it strongly discourages visiting the province. Other important notices affecting travel are published in a section of specifics, the security situation, with recommendations for tourists in the states and territories, under the travel section. Due to the long travel conditions worsened in the Islamic Republic, the MFA has repeatedly recommended travelers familiarize themselves with this information.

Johan Grohova, spokesman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, confirmed that the two female Czech tourists who were abducted from Chagai Balochistan Pakistan have been shifted to Afghanistan by the Taliban. The State Department has set up a task force in response to this incident.

Families of the kidnapped girls are still recovering from the shock of the news. Representatives of the Czech Embassy said by telephone on Thursday that the kidnapping has yet to be claimed, and the motive of the kidnappers are not known. Similar incidents in the area are unfortunately fairly common, with the main objective of the perpetrators being to collect a ransom.

It was reported by family sources that the two women took the land route by bus in order to save on travel costs. Both girls studied psychology and special education at college, and had both started to engage in social work. They had plans to stay in India for two months.

One woman works for Safety Line as a volunteer working in the Kladenske Volunteer Centre, where her work has won awards. The other girl works with training mentally disabled for cafe jobs such as Cafe Halfway. Both women are very strongly oriented to work in the helping professions.

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