The kidnappers came looking for foreigners, but took away two local employees instead.
Wednesday morning’s kidnapping left employees at the Korean-run Good Samaritan Hospital in Karachi’s Orangi area shaken.
The two abducted men were identified as Issac Samson and Indrias Jawaid. In the hospital, the families of the kidnapped men were present, waiting to hear if any updates awaited them. Younus Sadiq, father of Samson who worked for the finance department of the hospital, recalled how the young man left home at 7:30 in the morning.
“As routine, he wished me good morning and left. But the morning turned back on him. We came to know through a news bulletin that he was kidnapped.” The 26-year-old had been working for the hospital for the past three years.
Also present at the hospital was Saul Ashraf, brother of the other kidnapped staffer Jawaid, who was the general manager of the hospital. Both the families live in Mehmoodabad. “Jawaid has two small children. I request the kidnappers to let him go,” Ashraf said with tears in his eyes.
Two people, however, managed to escape. Driver Nasir and Nurse Austin were witnesses to the abduction. According to them, their hospital van was intercepted at Islam Chowk, Orangi, by a grey Toyota Corolla. Four armed men, described as fair-skinned, some of whom had moustaches, asked the occupants of the van to identify whether they were Korean or not. The terrified staff informed them that they were Pakistani in the hope that they would be let go.
But the abductors dragged Samson and Jawaid out from the van and forced them to get into their car. According to the witnesses, the car appeared to be jam-packed. Nasir added that the kidnappers had decided to take the “pant-shirt guys,” and leave behind the other two.
At the charity hospital, run and supported by Korean NGO Agape Medical Service since 1991, a female Korean office staffer, Tara, sat in disbelief. “No one has threatened us before. We’ve had no brawls with anyone. Then why this?” she said, speaking in a mixture of Urdu and English. Six Koreans work at the hospital and reside in a housing compound close by, all of them posted in the country on a temporary basis. Tara said the situation in the area has been calm and has witnessed no violence, but at the same time, added that the Korean nationals did not venture out unnecessarily.
“Our staff comprises the Christian community but 99 per cent of our treatment is provided to Muslims,” said Luke Kim, another Korean, who was busy answering phone calls and emails from people inquiring into the incident. “I don’t know what irked the kidnappers.”
In the meanwhile, the police remained clueless about the kidnappers’ identities, till the filing of this report.
“Unlike religious militants, these kidnappers did not sport a beard. They came looking for Koreans but they took away these men,” said Sabir Khan, SHO of the Pakistan Bazar police station. An FIR has also been registered. “We are investigating. It is too early to say who they were.”
According to Samson’s father, however, the police are waiting for the kidnappers to make a move. “They are waiting for the kidnappers to call us up for ransom. Let’s see what happens,” he said, sounding exhausted.
Three months ago, a Korean doctor was fired upon in Banaras by unidentified men. According to the staffers, he is currently undergoing treatment in his home country.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.
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