Pak Taliban releases videos of Swiss couple

Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban have released two videos of a Swiss couple who were kidnapped from Balochistan nearly four months ago in which one of the abducted persons is shown asking authorities to release a Pakistan-American woman convicted for terrorism in the US.

Links to the videos featuring Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 28, were posted on the website of FATA Research Centre, a Pakistani think tank.

One of the videos shows Och speaking in English and calling on US authorities to free Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani American scientist jailed for 86 years in 2010 after being convicted for the attempted murder of American agents who were interrogating her in Afghanistan. Och also calls on Pakistani authorities to free some Taliban militants.

The other video, which features the couple speaking in German, has four masked armed men standing behind them. In this video, Och holds up a Pakistani newspaper dated September 15. The couple appear to be in good health and call on the Pakistani and Swiss governments to give in to the demands of their abductors. The lives of the couple are at risk if the demands are not met, one of the hostages said in a video.

The FATA Research Centre said on its website that both videos were probably recorded around September 20. It did not say how it had obtained the videos. The Swiss government has said a crisis group is working for the release of the couple. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the kidnappings in July.