Kidnapped teacher asks Pakistan for help

A Greek volunteer teacher abducted early last month from his home in northwestern Pakistan has written to the Pakistani government asking for help in securing his release from his Taliban kidnappers, a local newspaper reported yesterday. A handwritten letter, bearing the date October 2 and the name of the missing teacher, Athanasios Lerounis, has been reproduced on the website of the Chitral Times. The letter, addressed to «The Government of Pakistan,» reads: «Please try your best to get my freedom. My life is in danger and only you can give me the chance to return to my country.» According to Pakistani elders who visited Afghanistan for talks with Lerounis’s kidnappers, the latter want 20,000 US dollars and the release of three Taliban leaders, currently jailed in Pakistan, in return for the teacher’s freedom. Originally the kidnappers had sought 2 million euros.