Two foreign aid workers kidnapped from Multan held by Pakistan Taliban

Published: February 11, 2012

Two foreign aid workers kidnapped from Multan in January are being held by the Pakistan Taliban near the border with Afghanistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Two foreign aid workers kidnapped from Multan in January are being held by the Pakistan Taliban near the border with Afghanistan, a senior militant commander told Reuters on Saturday.      

“The two NGO (non-governmental organisation) workers who were kidnapped in Multan nearly a month ago are in our custody near the border. We haven’t made any demands yet,” a senior commander of the Pakistan Taliban said.

“They are in good health.”

A German and an Italian citizen were kidnapped from their house in Multan on January 19, according to local officials.

The foreigners reportedly work for an aid group, Welthungerhilfe, which helped victims of the devastating 2010 floods. They have been identified as German national Bernd Johannes, 70, and Italian national Giovanni, 24.

Bernd had arrived in Multan on January 11, while Giovanni arrived on January 17 from Islamabad.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Aimal
    Feb 11, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Foreigners must know that visiting Pakistan, especial un-lawful places like Multan is suicidal.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Feb 11, 2012 - 5:34PM

    Kudos to the foreign aid workers who were trying to help flood victims – shame on the Pakistan Taliban for their cowardly abduction of people who are trying to help Pakistani’s – so much for all the “freedom fighter” nonsense.


  • hammad
    Feb 11, 2012 - 5:43PM

    Lahore is as unlawful as Multan where Taseer’s son and that ill american aid worker was kidnapped.


  • Rajeev
    Feb 11, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Why do these crazy people even visit such dangerous places? Do they not have anywhere else on this planet to do their charity work? This is entirely a self-inflicted problem and we should not be sympathizing with these stupid foreigners. They just make eveyone else make play into the hands of these Talibans thus putting various governments into difficult situations.


  • John B
    Feb 11, 2012 - 7:09PM

    Is it not Mr. Malik the PAK interior minister for law and order from Multan? If aid workers are not safe in his place, then no place is safe for any one in PAK. At least that is the yard stick I go by.

    Seal team is coming buddy.


  • Think Again
    Feb 11, 2012 - 7:20PM

    Does anyone knows why there are so many “Foreign” NGO’s working in Pakistan?


  • Shayan
    Feb 11, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Sonebody new they were coming. U need more than a week to plan a kidnapping.


  • Z Ali
    Feb 11, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @Think Again:
    Yes, its simply because your government is incapable of doing anything itself…


  • RRS
    Feb 11, 2012 - 8:57PM

    @Thing Again
    To Tell you the truth there is not many NGO working. Who still dare to come ends being kidnapped or killed. Such a sorry situation.


  • gp65
    Feb 11, 2012 - 9:18PM

    @Think Again: “Does anyone knows why there are so many “Foreign” NGO’s working in Pakistan?”
    The 1.5 billion Kerry Lugar aid is tied to projects that can be monitored – not just given to the government (who even Pakistanis believe is corrupt). Hence the NGOs to work on different projects. These specific people were here to help recovery from 2 consecutive years of floods – it appears according to the story.


  • Grace
    Feb 11, 2012 - 9:38PM

    @hammad: Lahore is much safer than any other place in Pakistan. Go out and enjoy food street at 2 am and you’ll see. As for personal grudges and targetted attacks against Taseer’s son, that is a rare occirence which can’t be stopped anywhere in the world.
    These Taleban cowards can only attack children and women in public places or kidnap unarmed foreigners. Shows their character and desperation. It seems that the Pak military has been beating these anti state criminals who are fighting for foreign masters.


  • Saleem Chaudhry
    Feb 11, 2012 - 10:06PM

    @ Think Again, please read another news item regarding suspension bridge built by a foreign agency. These agencies have done tremenodus work in earth quakes, floods and other disasters. Why we behave like thankless people?


  • Peace On Earth
    Feb 11, 2012 - 10:31PM

    Why blame the aid workers who sacrifice their time and expertise in helping Pakistanis despite the fact that they themselves are not Pakistanis yet, choose to help them anyways? Would a Pakistani aid worker help an American or Indian?

    Shame on the government for not taking a headstrong approach against the Pakistani Taliban. Despite the thousands of civilian deaths, the government is still trying to control the wild animal that is the extremist elements within Pakistan.


  • rk
    Feb 11, 2012 - 10:32PM

    only terrorists are safe in pak….when will aid workeres learn that…


  • Cautious
    Feb 11, 2012 - 10:33PM

    @Think Again

    Does anyone knows why there are so
    many “Foreign” NGO’s working in

    Because Pakistan can’t and in some cases won’t take care of it’s own. You find NGO’s in most places that are impoverished and where people are in desperate need. You also find that Western countries seem to have a never ending supply of people who are willing to suffer hardship to help others – even if they have different religion or come from a country which harps on Western values.


  • Zahid Aslam
    Feb 11, 2012 - 11:15PM

    Guyz don’t blame each other ….We just solve this issue:(


  • Rehan
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:01AM

    @ Aimal…

    For your kind information, Multan is not lawless city, its comparatively peaceful at least from most of the the major cities like Lahore or Karachi…


  • Feb 12, 2012 - 1:40AM

    This could happen to everyone in every state


  • pakpinoy
    Feb 12, 2012 - 1:55AM

    @Think Again:

    It’s rather simple, buddy. Because “foreign” NGOs are far more concerned about helping Pakistanis than fellow Pakistanis are themselves. There are thousands, yes thousands, of American, British and other NGOs working all over the world funded by billions and billions in private, yes private, donations.

    Are you so shocked because you can’t understand human compassion and charity and how it motivates those with good hearts to do good deeds? I know it’s lacking in Pakistan, but it’s commonplace in other countries.

    Tens of thousands of Westerners — not only, but by far the vast majority — choose a career of service that can be risky, harsh and underpaid to help people and nations in need. Learn to appreciate such people instead of constantly questioning their motives simply because you can’t relate to their deeply held values and compassion.


  • dv sikka
    Feb 12, 2012 - 2:53AM

    Chop the hands that feed you, what a philosophy.


  • Truthbetold
    Feb 12, 2012 - 3:16AM

    “For your kind information, Multan is not lawless city, its comparatively peaceful at least from most of the the major cities like Lahore or Karachi…”

    The whole of southern Punjab and Multan are hotbeds for terrorism. That is where most of the hardcore terrorists have their headquarters.


  • Zeta
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:32AM

    I think these TTP losers dont deserve the Adjective Pakistani, Government should strip them off their nationality


  • Harry Stone
    Feb 12, 2012 - 6:08AM

    Why would any nation, organization or individual help pakistanRecommend

  • Mazhar.A.Khan
    Feb 12, 2012 - 7:30AM

    Its cowardly act of these so called thugs Taliban. These thugs should be helping the people in their miseries rather than kidnapping those who came from far to help us.


  • Tim Hover
    Feb 12, 2012 - 8:20AM

    @John B:

    that seal team is done by the same taliban in afghanistan buddy. Send some one who dont go down in helecopter crashes without firing a bullet, it happened twice, once in abbottabad and then in afghanistan :)


  • PakArmySoldier
    Feb 12, 2012 - 10:16AM

    I dream of a day when we get rid and exterminate Taliban from my country. I have lost so many friends to these terrorists! My unit will put every particle that they have to expunge Taliban and their supporters from Pakistan.

    -Capt. Basit


  • Riaz Khan
    Feb 12, 2012 - 2:38PM

    We are worst than animals! Since animals do not bite feeding hands but we do.


  • Kevin Tayler
    Feb 12, 2012 - 5:58PM


    Rajeev These people were trying to help flood victims. Perhaps to you, as a Indian, they do not need help because they are Pakistanis, but people are people whether they are Christian, Hindu, Muslim or of no faith. I have worked in Pakistan on and off for the last 30 years and also in India. People are much the same everywhere and if we take your attitude and give in to the terrorists, who are very much a minority, they we are all lostRecommend

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