ISLAMABAD: Turkish authorities have recovered six Pakistanis, who were said to have been abducted by human smugglers for ransom in Istanbul, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday. The confirmation came just days after a video of the men being tortured went viral, sending shockwaves through the country.
The six men – Fazal Amin, Adil Ahmad, Muhammad Zeeshan, Abid, Usman Ali and Ashbar Ahmed – hail from Gujranwala and Wazirabad, and were reportedly travelling to Europe illegally through human smugglers.
Six abducted Pakistanis freed in Turkey
Turkish police, who rescued these Pakistanis, would not provide further details.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said the Turkish police informed the Consulate General of Pakistan in Istanbul about the recovery of kidnapped Pakistanis. “The Turkish authorities are now completing legal formalities to deal with the case. Consulate officials are in contact with the police authorities and have sought access to the rescued Pakistanis,” it said. “We express our gratitude to the Turkish government and the relevant authorities for their timely action and cooperation in the matter,” the Foreign Office added.
The kidnapping came to light after a video showing four Pakistanis being brutally tortured by their abductors surfaced. They were kidnapped for ransom in Turkey by unknown captors.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) reportedly made some arrests in Gujranwala believed to be linked to the abductors.
But some media reports suggested that they were abducted by Kurdish miscreants. Some suspect Afghan-Turk human smugglers played a role as well.
Reports suggested that abductors were seeking Rs2 million for each kidnapped Pakistani from their families. Despite conflicting reports about the abductors, Pakistani and Turkish authorities would not say who was behind the kidnapping.
The arrests in Gujranwala a day before the recovery of kidnapped Pakistanis appear to show that there might be some locals involved in this horrific crime.
Meanwhile, the news of recovery of kidnapped Pakistanis sparked celebrations in their families as well as relief. Officials said arrangements were being made to ensure early return of the six Pakistanis.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2017.
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