IBTimes UK

An Australian charity worker has been abducted by armed men in Jalalabad, the eastern region of Afghanistan.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the government is working closely with the Afghan government to ensure the safe return of the 70-year-old Australian national.

However, the minister said in a reply to media queries that the government's policy is not to pay ransom to kidnappers.

Katherine Jane Wilson, who goes by the name Kerry, was kidnapped from her office on Thursday morning.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province, said four men in uniforms abducted the woman, who was in the city for a women's embroidery project.

"We have connections, networks in Afghanistan, and we will be seeking to confirm as many of the details as we can, as soon as possible. In the meantime, we're staying in close contact with her family," Bishop said, according to the Channel News Asia.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp, Wilson's 91-year-old father Brian Wilson appealed for his daughter's return. "I presume she's a hostage and they'll do their best to keep her alive and not harm her simply because they want to have something or other in return", he said.

After repeated incidents of kidnapping in recent years across the globe, it is obvious that this has become a lucrative source of income for militant Islamist groups and it is a debatable topic whether they should be paid ransom.

Last August, a similar incident took place when a German citizen who was working for development agency GIZ was kidnapped in central Kabul. He was released after two months.

On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said both Canada and Britain will urge other nations not to pay ransoms to free kidnap victims. This happened after a Canadian hostage was found dead in the Philippines.

In reply to this, Bishop has said that as a matter of policy, Australia doesn't not pay ransom to kidnappers.