A Swiss couple that has been held captive for nearly a year by Taliban forces in Pakistan showed up at a Pakistan Army post near the Afghan border today. They claim that they escaped from their captors, according to the Pakistani army. Shortly thereafter, they were flown to safety.
David Och and Daniela Widmer were smiling and looking quite healthy. They waved for cameras waiting at a military airbase close to the Pakistani capital before getting into a van. The couple were apparently on vacation in the country when they were captured in the southwest province of Baluchistan in July. The Taliban commanders said that they released the two after a ransom was paid.
The couple last appeared in a militant video in October, claiming that their Taliban captors intended to kill them.Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said that the couple showed up at an army post in Miran Shah in North Waziristan, an Al-Qaeda and Taliban base. The couple was then flown on an army helicopter to Peshawar, the main city in northwestern Pakistan.
“They say they escaped from the custody of militants,” he said.
Two local Pakistani Taliban officials who refused to give their names stated that the couple were freed after some Taliban prisoners were released from Pakistani custody and an undisclosed ransom had been paid. The Swiss Embassy declined to comment.
Criminal gangs and terrorists do often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis, but rarely foreigners. Large ransoms are commonly paid for their release, but such payments are rarely confirmed. There are reports that at least five other foreigners are currently being held in Pakistan.
The only thing I want to know is who paid the ransom. Who do you think paid for the Swiss couple’s release?