UN seeks direct contact with Solecki's kidnappers

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Islamabad, Feb.17 (ANI): The United Nations has urged the kidnappers of John Solecki, the head of the UNHCR in Quetta, to make direct contact, and called for his immediate release.

Solecki was kidnapped at gunpoint on February 2 while travelling to work. His driver was killed.

The Balochistan Liberation United Front (BLUF), which claims to be holding Solecki, on Monday extended a 72-hour deadline for the government to meet demands for his release.

"The United Nations encourages the community leaders' continued engagement and again asks those keeping John to initiate direct contact so that dialogue can be started for his immediate safe recovery," the UN said in astatement on Tuesday.

"We are grateful for the growing community support for John Solecki and the response that their support has generated," the statement added.

The world body said that it was aware of the message from abductors to the Quetta Press Club regarding extension in the deadline.

A grainy video released by the kidnappers and shown on local television channels on Friday showed a blindfolded Solecki appealing to the United Nations for his release and saying he was unwell.

The kidnappers are also demanding the release of 141 women Baloch detainees who are in Pakistani custody, and information about 6,000 men 'missing' from operations to put down Baluchistan's insurgency. (ANI)

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