ISLAMABAD /LAHORE: The abduction of American aid expert Warren Weinstein prompted US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday to ‘express concern’ over the incident.
The foreign ministry confirmed the telephone conversation but did not offer any details. However, official sources told The Express Tribune that the Secretary of State made the telephone call primarily to discuss the kidnapping incident.
Secretary Clinton’s call was followed by US Ambassador Cameron Munter’s separate meetings with Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir on Wednesday to press the Pakistani authorities to ensure the early recovery of American aid expert.
Following her interaction with the US Secretary of State, Foreign Minister Khar also met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to brief him about the situation.
The issue took another twist on Thursday when Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah hinted that Weinstein might be a spy.
“We suspect that he was involved in intelligence gathering because we offered him a police escort, deployed police at his house, but he resisted our attempts,” the minister told Reuters. “It gives the impression that he did not want us to keep a check on his activities and that makes it suspicious.”
However, Weinstein’s’ friends in the aid community have strenuously denied rumours he was working for any intelligence agency. A US Embassy spokeswoman also denied it.
Weinstein was abducted in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday last, when up to eight unknown gunmen broke into his house in Lahore.
The police detained a number of people, including the security guards and Weinstein’s driver, for questioning after the kidnapping.
Police officials released the sketch of one of the suspects involved in the kidnapping of American citizen Warren Weinstein on Thursday.
The sketch was of a young man, around twenty years of age, with light stubble. It was made with the help of information collected from guards and the driver of the American since the CCTV camera of the house had been out of order for two years, said a police official.
SSP Investigation Lahore, Abdur Razzaque Cheema told The Express Tribune that the sketch of only one kidnapper could be made as the other seven wore masks.
He added that Lahore police was investigating the abduction of Warren, with the help of agencies, while details of phone calls of Weinstein were still being checked.
SP Investigation Model Town, Shoaib Khurram said that finger prints have been taken from the crime scene.
Police officials also revealed that they would carry out lie-detecting tests on security guards and driver of Weinstein.
“We have decided to conduct lie-detector tests on the security guards and the driver to verify whether their statements are true,” a senior police official was reported as saying.
“We will start their screening while we also interrogate the security company officials, responsible for his security,” said officials.
Weinstein, 70, country director for US-based consultancy JE Austin Associates, was abducted before dawn on Saturday.
Weinstein was due to return to the United States on Monday after his contract on private-sector development and economic growth in Pakistan ended. Washington revised its travel warning asserting that Americans throughout Pakistan have been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons. (With additional reporting from agencies)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.
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I will again request to all these fine Gentleman who know Mr Warren so well please provide the following:
-His education details -Input into his work experience which he has done for forty years -Any info about his family =Anything.......???
Let the truth prevail !!!!
@Ch. Usman The points you make about poverty, hunger and corruption are valid. However you need to dig deeper to uncover the causes. It is much harder to persuade a man who has health, wealth and happiness to do your bidding than one who hasn't. So neocolonial powers do their best to ensure that countries like ours REMAIN poor, unhealthy, and illiterate.
Here's a quote and hyperlink to get you started:
"It is usual for IMF to insist on cutting of 'social spending' which means REDUCING EXPENDITURES on essentials like health and education."
read the rest yourself here:
Now, I guess you could say that the IMF is the mother of all NGOs. What thoughts cross your mind when you examine its policies and look at the number of NGO's in Pakistan?
@T Not all the apples in the cart are poisoned, for then they would be easy to reject. The most plausible lies are half-truths. So which policy is safer...to reject the lot or to start eating at the risk of being poisoned ?
We have already made up our mind that he is a spy, like all americans in our country are. Please don't confuse us with facts. Thanks !
@T: Spies never reveal their profession, that's what spying is all about.
@T: What a name like yours, you are as shady as JE Associates.
What is a Jewish guy doing in a shady outfit called JE Austin Associates??? You can figure it out.
@Chengez K: His daughter is a close friend of mine (13+ years now). He is not a spy. Anyone who insinuates it is ridiculous. He's a good man and his family deserves to get him back safely.
Can any one provide biographical details of Mr Warren who is supposed to be a 70 years old expert
It has been rumored that he has strong Israel/mossad connections...
.any details of his family,education where he has been working for last 40 years....anything at all ....or like Raymond Davis no body will know any thing as the name Raymond Davis was itself fake!!!!
If Hina has not even uttered a word on this abduction then this means she needs a No Objection Certificate (NOC), now from whom is a million dollar question ........
All Americans are CIA agents as it was proved with the case of Raymond Davis since he was later on officially declared CIA Agent. Warren Wienstien would definitely be a CIA agent, but do we have the power to retain him? This question shall show crystal clear story to each and every Paksitani.
Mr Weinstein sailor be fine it seems, think this is just push back time. Before we know it he will pay homage at the wailing wall and be off to enjoy a pint on some back street in DC. It is brave of him to continue his work in current times.
I have my own doubts about development agencies operating in our country, growingly their agendas will not compliment ours. These are times of serious mistrust. All developmental activities should be stopped only to resume under more conducive conditions .
Bet he was an NOC (non-official contractor) in CIA.
@malik... you seemed to have lost it. My declaring Pakistan a terrorist state you are fuelling the fire that the extremists and fundos` have kindled....
Oh, Nice to hear that Clinton calls Khar to ‘express concern’. Did Ms. Khar dare to show any concern on target killing of a Pakistani woman in America ? America is concerned on the kidnapping of it's citizen but we are not concerned on the target killing of our citizen in America. We have become a cruel nation .....
If he wasn't a full fledged spy, he was a spy on the side - as are most Americans in Pakistan.
*US should prepare for the ransom as they may ask for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's release in exchange, as she is also abducted by US, Fair, isn't it? *
The abductor seems to have a uncanny resemblance to ISI chief Shuja Pasha. Has anyone asked him about where he was at the time of abduction.
People in Pakistan believe that all Americans in Pakistan, are by default, CIA agents and are thus 'Wajib-ul-Qatl' !!
I request US to urgently declare Pakistan as a Terrorist State so that the brainwashed people of Pakistan are jolted out of their insanity ....
Secretary of State called upon Foreign Minister of Pakistan over abduction of an American whereas we have had handed over hundred of our innocent Pakistanis to them. Does it justifies at any level? Now we must get our nationas respected by American. Pakistanis must be treated as human being by Government officials.
Rana Sana is a real investigator. Wake up Rana Sahib, you can't avoid mud slinging as this is the only way for you to be in the spotlight. There are a lot of foreigners in Pakistan who do not want police escort, as it makes them an obvoius target. By the way what have you done to your Elite police guard, who is a hero after killing a Governor on duty?
Nice of the Punjab Law Minister to sign the man's death warrant with his "speculations". As usual his role in this affair has been shameful and despicable.