Deadline Looms for Kidnapped UNHCR Employee

Last month John Solecki, an American employee of the United Nations Refugee Agency, was kidnapped on his way to work in Quetta, Pakistan. Something called the “Baluchistan Liberation United Front” abducted Sokecki and shot to death his driver, a local UN employee named Syed Hashim. Four days ago the group threatened to kill Solecki in four days should their list of demands, including the release of over a 1,000 prisoners in Pakistan, not be met.

This is obviously a tense situation. The Pakistani Senate has called for his release. The United Nations says it cannot respond to Solecki’s kidnappers. Meanwhile, the fate of Solecki and thousands of refugees in western Pakistan — who depend on UNHCR being able to go about its daily business without this kind of threat — hang in the balance.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Solecki and his family.

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