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UN wants to speak to kidnappers of official in Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, March 19, IRNA -- The United Nations is engaged in the ongoing effort to gain the safe release of John Solecki, the UN refugee agency official, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Solecki was abducted more than six weeks ago in the Pakistani southwestern city of Quetta, but remains very concerned about his health, the UN official said.

Kidnappers of Solecki Tuesday set another 48-hour deadline for accepting their demands for the release of Baloch women and men as well as solution to problems of Balochistan under Geneva Convention.

“The UN is still willing to speak directly to those who have John, in the spirit of being ready to listen and to find a safe way to secure his release,” Jennifer Pagonis, UN spokesperson said in a statement.

John Solecki, UNHCR’s head of office in Quetta was abducted on 2 February on his way to work.

A new group, the Baloch United Liberation Group, had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

In a video message last month, Solecki pleaded for his release and said that he is not feeling well and needs medical treatment.

”We are very concerned about the apparent deterioration of John’s health, reported by the group holding him,” the UN spokesman said.

He appreciated all efforts on behalf of the Baloch tribal leaders to ensure the safe release of John and remains in active communication and contact with them to support this goal.

“The United Nations is keen for John to receive immediate professional medical care in a clinic or hospital where the necessary medical tests can be carried out”.

He said the swift delivery of medical help is important. John’s well-being is the responsibility of the group who is holding him and we hope they are taking steps to make sure John remains well and is not suffering.

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