Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pakistan: Kidnapped Ophthalmologist Released After Payment of Ransom

Renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Saeed Khan, who was kidnapped on October 16, while driving home from a local hospital in Quetta, was released by his captors on Wednesday (November 28) after the successful payment of a ransom, the amount of which was not mentioned, although it is assumed that it was a significant sum. 
Dr. Saeed said his captors moved him from location to location during his captivity and drugged him to manage control. Unlike many kidnap victims, the physician was given only bread and water by his kidnappers.
COMMENT: As with most ransom kidnappings in Pakistan, rarely are police authorities involved, largely because of a lack of trust.
Dr. Saeed’s abduction generated a Balochistan-wide strike by doctors against governmental ineffectiveness. Despite his release, though, doctors vowed to continue their strike, pointing out that the physician was released only after the payment of a ransom, no thanks to the central government.

For security reasons, it may never be known what the amount of the ransom payment was nor who paid it.

Pakistanis kidnapped in the country tend to be kidnapped for money while foreigners tend to be abducted for political reasons.

Unfortunately, the risk of kidnapping of influential Pakistanis as well as foreigners working for NGOs is very high, both in rural and urban environments.

Considering that many diplomatic missions rely heavily on ballistic-resistant vehicles to transport their employees around the country, Pakistanis of means and NGO workers in particular are at considerable risk if they don't utilize vehicles similarly protected.