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Canadian woman kidnapped in Pakistan

world Updated: Nov 15, 2008 09:11 IST

Canadian officials have been working with Pakistani authorities to seek the release of a Canadian woman who was kidnapped in Pakistan earlier this week, Canada's foreign affairs department said.

Lisa Monette, a spokeswoman for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, confirmed that a Canadian woman has been abducted and said her agency is in discussions with Pakistani authorities, but refused further comment and to identify the woman, citing her own safety.

"I can only tell you that we are certainly aware of the kidnapping of the Canadian citizen in Pakistan and Canadian officials are working with Pakistan for her early release," Monette said on Friday.

Canadian newspapers including The Globe & Mail and The Vancouver Sun have reported that Beverly Giesbrecht, 52, from Vancouver, British Columbia, was on a freelance reporting assignment when she was kidnapped in northern Pakistan on Tuesday.

Giesbrecht runs the Web site www.Jihadunspun.Com, which is critical of the US-led war and the mainstream media's coverage of it. She adopted the name Khadija Abdul Qahaar after she converted to Islam in 2002 following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Giesbrecht left Vancouver on April 7, and flew to London, England, going on to Lahore, Pakistan, on Aug 4, The Globe & Mail reported.

Mamoona Malik, a spokeswoman for the High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Ottawa, said Giesbrecht's visa application was supported by two letters verifying she was doing freelance work, reporting on the political situation in Pakistan.