Foreign hostages in Pakistan

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This is a list of known foreign hostages in Pakistan. Foreign nationals have often been abducted by various militant groups who are involved in the current War in North-West Pakistan and are linked to terrorism in Pakistan. Most of these kidnappings have taken place in unstable parts of northwestern Pakistan and the western province of Balochistan, that are plagued by an insurgency.[1]


  • 23 January 2002: Daniel Pearl, a Jewish American journalist was kidnapped in Karachi by a militant group. He was beheaded nine days later.
  • 10 October 2004: Two Chinese engineers working at the Gomal Zam Dam were kidnapped along with their Pakistani driver and Pakistani bodyguard in South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border. The driver and bodyguard were later released. Pakistani forces managed to rescue one of the engineers several days later but the other engineer was killed during the rescue attempt.[2][3]
  • 28 September 2008: Piotr Stańczak, a Polish engineer and geologist was kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the city of Attock. The gunmen shot dead his Pakistani driver, Pakistani translator and Pakistani bodyguard with whom he was travelling in a car.[4] Stańczak was beheaded by militants on 7 February 2009, with a video of the execution released.[5] His executioners said they murdered Stańczak because of the Pakistani government's failure to release Taliban prisoners.[5]
  • 11 November 2008: Beverly Giesbrecht, a Canadian journalist, was kidnapped along with her Pakistani translator, Salman Khan, and her Pakistani driver, Zar Muhammad, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Their Pakistani taxi driver was not taken.[6] In late February 2009, a video surfaced of her, in between two men with rifles.[7] In March 2009, a video surfaced on which Giesbrecht could be heard stating that the Pakistani Taliban would behead her unless a ransom was paid. Muhammad was freed in June 2009. Khan was freed in July 2009. Giesbrecht died of hepatitis in October 2010.[8][9][10][11][12]
  • 2 February 2009: John Solecki, an American official working for the UNHCR in Quetta was kidnapped by an unknown Baloch militant group. His Pakistani driver was shot fatally.[13] Solecki was released on April 4, 2009.[14]
  • 2 July 2011: A Swiss tourist couple was abducted while travelling in Balochistan.[15] The couple were seized by unidentified gunmen affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban in the Loralai District, which is some 150 km north of the provincial capital Quetta. The couple escaped in March 2012.[16]
  • 13 August 2011: Warren Weinstein, an American aid worker living in Lahore was kidnapped from his residence by unknown gunmen.[17] In December 2011, al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed to be holding him in FATA.[18] Weinstein was killed in an American drone strike in January 2015.[19]
  • 19 January 2012: Giovanni Lo Porto and Bernd Muehlenbeck, aid workers for Welthungerhilfe, were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Multan, in Punjab province. Muehlenbeck appeared in proof of life videos released just before Christmas 2012 and in February 2014. Muehlenbeck was freed from inside Afghanistan in October 2014. Lo Porto was killed in an American drone strike in January 2015. His body was recovered in August 2015.[19][20][21][22][23]
  • 14 March 2013: Two Czech travellers - Hana Humpálová and Antonie Chrástecká - were kidnapped near Pakistan's western border along with a Pakistani police officer. The officer was later released. Both women were on an overland trip from Europe to India. The kidnappers demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui.[24][25] Both Czech women were released in March 2015, following intense negotiations by a Turkish NGO IHH.[26] In February 2016, Czech President Milos Zeman confirmed that a $6 million ransom was paid for the women's release.[27]


  1. ^ "New video shows Czech hostages in Pakistan in fragile state". The News. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Two Chinese engineers kidnapped in Pakistan
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  5. ^ a b Shah, Saeed (2009-02-09). "Polish man beheaded in Pakistani militant video". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
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  10. ^ Death of Beverly Giesbrecht
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  13. ^ Masood, Salman (3 February 2009). "American U.N. Official Is Abducted in Pakistan". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Pakistani group frees US hostage, BBC, 4 April 2009
  15. ^ Swiss couple kidnapped in south-west Pakistan
  16. ^ "Swiss couple escape from Pakistan Taliban captivity". Reuters. 15 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "US aid official kidnapped in Pakistan - Central & South Asia". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  18. ^ AFP. "Al Qaeda claims kidnapping of Weinstein in Pakistan – The Express Tribune". Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
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