The review of events linked to the abduction of two young Czech female tourists in Pakistan on March 13, 2013, an incident that remains unsettled after one year:
– The two Czech women, then aged 24, were kidnapped in Pakistan’s southwestern province Baluchistan where they arrived from the neighbouring Iran as tourists. They were heading for India. A group of eight to ten gunmen took them away in an off-road car. The kidnappers also abducted a policeman who accompanied the women, whom they later released and seized his gun.
– Czech President Milos Zeman discussed the case with the then Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg on March 18. Zeman wrote a letter to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari and also addressed the families of the two abducted young women. He said Zardari answered saying that he had asked the Pakistani secret service to enquire into the case. Zardari also wrote to the abducted women’s families. Zeman provided further information about the case on October 16 when he said, answering a question at a debate with students, that the abducted women were moving between Pakistan and Afghanistan and that Prague was negotiating about their release.
– Two videos with the abducted women appeared on Facebook on June 26 and on October 30. In the first video, the women say they are in good condition but their lives are endangered. In the other, they ask the Czech government for help, complain about their bad health condition and a bad access to food and water, and even say how they wish to be buried.
– The new Pakistani ambassador to Prague, Tajammul Altaf, told CTK in January 2014 that Pakistan continues settling the case on all possible levels including presidential, and that it exchanges information with Czech authorities. He said the two women’s whereabouts are unknown.
– The women crossed the Iranian-Pakistani border at the Taftan crossing on the main road that links east Iran’s town Zahedan with Quetta, the centre of Baluchistan. The gunmen halted a minibus with the tourists near the Nok Kundi village, about 120 kilometres far from the border.
– According to the local daily Pakistan Times, the incident occurred in the same place where gunmen abducted a French tourist in 2011.
– In a similar place, kidnappers from the Islamist Taliban movement abducted and took hostage a Swiss couple, Daniela Widmer and David Och, in July 2011. They spent over eight months in captivity. After they returned home, they said the kidnappers had not hurt them and showed respect for both. Besides incessant fear, the hostages mainly suffered from heat, shortage of food and health troubles caused by bad hygienic conditions.
– Czech tourists visit Pakistan only rarely. About 200 Czechs, mainly individual tourists, go to Pakistan annually, according to the estimate of the Czech Travel Agencies’ Association