At least eight armed men kidnapped a US national in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore today, police said, having overpowered his security guards.
The incident took place in the Model Town area, senior local police official, Shahzada Saleem told AFP.
“Gunmen, riding in more than one vehicle entered the house, overpowered at least three private security guards at the main gate and abducted the foreigner,” he added.
The police officials were immediately unable to share the name and age of the kidnapped man but local media identified him as Justin Warner, 63.
“The American citizen had been living in Lahore for the last four to five years and was associated with consultancy business,” Saleem said, without revealing the type of services he had been providing in Pakistan.
“Initial investigation reveals that the American citizen has been travelling to different Pakistani cities and was scheduled to return to US on Monday,” he said, adding that he had returned to Lahore from Islamabad on Thursday.
Saleem said that the police sealed all the entry and exit points to ensure that the foreign national was not taken out of Lahore.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction.
US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez confirmed that the kidnapped foreigner is “an American national”.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States, wary at the best of times, have deteriorated sharply since the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a covert raid by the American military on May 2.
The bin Laden operation humiliated the Pakistani military and invited allegations of incompetence and complicity, given that the fugitive had been living undetected only a two hour drive north of Islamabad for several years.
Pakistan has also demanded an end to US drone strikes on militant hotspots close to its border with Afghanistan, saying they constitute an invasion of its sovereign territory.
Washington, meanwhile, has increasingly demanded that Islamabad take more concerted action against terror cells it says are active in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas