February 17th, 2009 18:59 EST
The U.N. Calls For The Immediate Release of John Solecki
The United Nations today once again appealed to those holding John Solecki, a staff member kidnapped in Pakistan two weeks ago, for his immediate and safe release.
Mr. Solecki, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (<"UNHCR`>http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home">UNHCR) in the city of Quetta, was kidnapped during a 2 February attack in which his driver, Syed Hashim, was killed.
Last week the UN <"said`>http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=3712">said it is seeking information on a group called the Balochistan Liberation United Front, which on 7 February claimed in local media reports that it is holding Mr. Solecki.
In a statement issued today in Islamabad, the UN encouraged the Balochistan community leaders` continued engagement and once more asked those keeping Mr. Solecki to initiate direct contact so that dialogue can be started for his immediate safe recovery.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke over the weekend with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and they agreed on the need to secure the safe and immediate release of Mr. Solecki, who has a medical condition requiring regular medication.
Mr. Ban, in a statement issued on Saturday, underscored the importance of the humanitarian work being undertaken by Mr Solecki and stressed that no cause can be served by prolonging his abduction.