Pak Taliban want Aafia in return for Swiss couple

A Swiss couple were kidnapped earlier this month from Balochistan province.

Peshawar: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said that a Swiss couple, who were kidnapped earlier this month from Balochistan province, were in good health and demanded they be exchanged for a Pakistani scientist jailed in the US.

Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 28, were abducted on July 01, while driving in Balochistan.

“The Swiss couple are with the TTP. They are at a very safe place. They are completely in good health, they are getting reasonable food and they have not fallen ill since they landed in our custody,” the Daily Times quoted TTP Deputy Head Waliur Rehman, as saying.

He added that the Taliban would release the couple if the US freed Aafia Siddiqui, a female neuroscientist sentenced in 2010 for the attempted murder of US government agents in Afghanistan.

“We call upon the Western world to put pressure on America for the release of Aafia Siddiqui,” he said.

“If America does not agree to her release then our shura (council) will take a decision about the Swiss hostages,” he added.

Other Taliban sources confirmed TTP’s claim, saying that the hostages were now being held South Waziristan.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry had earlier reiterated that it is “continuing with their efforts to bring the two Swiss citizens back safely to Switzerland”.


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