ISLAMABAD: Six Pakistanis working for a Polish oil company who were kidnapped by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in November pleaded for their lives in a video released on Tuesday by the militant faction.
The workers were kidnapped in Dera Ismail Khan while carrying out exploration work for oil and gas surveyor Geofizyka Krakow. A Polish engineer from the same company was kidnapped in late 2008 near the same area and beheaded several months later.
The company has been in liquidation since August, and a spokesperson for its parent company, PGNiG, told Reuters at the time the six were kidnapped that they were "sub-contractors".
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Neither PGNiG nor Geofizyka Krakow could be immediately reached for comment on the video.
The six can be seen in the video sitting on a floor, flanked by two masked, armed TTP militants while one of them read a statement.
"We are alive and well and appeal to our company, the government and our families to secure our release as fast as possible or we will meet the same fate as the foreign worker," said the man reading the statement, who identified himself as Abdul Khaliq.
Samiullah Khan, a senior government official in the city of Dera Ismail Khan said authorities were trying to save the men.
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"The kidnapped men are our Pakistani brothers, we are taking every possible steps for their recovery," Khan said.
Security in the country has improved over the last few years but many of the northwestern areas bordering Afghanistan remain volatile and dangerous, especially for foreigners and those working with foreign companies.
The semi-autonomous northwest frontier region, hard to access due to rough terrain, has long been the sanctuary of fighters from several militant groups.