UNHCR Official Kidnapped in Pakistan

The head of the United Nations Refugee agency’s Baluchistan office, John Solecki, an American, was kidnapped on his way to work. His Pakistani driver was killed.

There are some 400,000 Afghan refugees living in Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan. UNHCR is about the only global institution on the ground delivering humanitarian aid and advocating on behalf of these refugees. Kidnapping Sokecki was a pretty detestable act. The AP has more:

It was not immediately clear what impact the abduction would have on U.N. work in Pakistan, if any. The bombing of Islamabad’s Marriott hotel in September prompted new U.N. rules prohibiting expatriate staff in Pakistan from living with their children in parts of the country, including Quetta.

General crime has been on the rise in many parts of the country, including kidnappings for ransom. An Iranian diplomat was abducted in the northwestern city of Peshawar last year, and other foreigners and Afghans have also been taken.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has worked for years in Baluchistan helping Afghans who have fled violence in their homeland.