LAHORE: The American aid expert kidnapped at gunpoint in Pakistan had not been threatened and was working legally in the country, a colleague said on Monday.
Police have so far drawn a blank over the kidnapping that saw Warren Weinstein struck on the head with a pistol and driven off from his home in Lahore by gunmen in the early hours of Saturday. There has been no claim of responsibility and the most officers have been able to establish is that he was targeted because of his nationality, particularly sensitive in a country with rampant anti-Americanism.
�We are unclear why Weinstein was kidnapped. We do not know what the motives are,� said a senior Pakistani employee at JE Austin Associates, the Virginia-based consultancy for which the American works. �Weinstein never told us that he received any threats. Had he received any threats, I certainly would have known. He was the country head of our organisation and had been here for the last seven years,� said his colleague.
�His contract was expiring on August 15 and he was expected to leave Pakistan by the end of this month,� said the colleague. When asked to comment about claims that Weinstein did not inform Pakistani authorities that he was in Lahore, the colleague said, �Weinstein was staying here legally. The authorities should have been aware of his presence in the area as he had been living here for more than five years.�