Released in Afghan-US forces raid, Gilani says kidnappers were Punjabis

Ali Haider Gilani, (R) son of former Pakistani prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, shakes hands with Afghan Joint Chief of Staff Gen. Qadamshah Shahim after he was rescued in Afghanistan in a joint operation by Afghan and U.S. forces, at the Defence Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

PAKISTAN: The son of the former Pakistani Prime Minister who was released during a joint raid by the Afghan and US forces has said his kidnappers hailed from Punjab province of Pakistan.

Ali Haidar Gilani was released earlier in the month fo May this year and was handed over to the Pakistani authorities following his release in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference in Multan, Gillani said that he had informed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif about his abductors and their facilitators, according to the local newspaper, the Nation.

Gilani further added that he had gone out after hearing gun shots and subsequently was kidnapped. He added that he was taken to Faisalabad by his kidnappers.

In a counterterrorism operation targeting al-Qaida operatives, the partnered team freed Ali Haider who had been held hostage since he was kidnapped three years ago in Pakistan, the US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said following his release.

Hailing the Afghan and US special forces for the successful operation, Carter said “We will work with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to return him home safely after he receives a medical evaluation.”

Ali Haidar was kidnapped by gunmen during an attack in Farrkhabad, near the Matital Road in Multan, in May 2013.

His two associates were killed during the kidnapping which took place on 9th May as he was contesting for the general election from PPP-200 constituency in Multan.

The family of Gilani is reported to be one of the most powerful in the central town of Multan and a key clan in the PPP, whose campaign for re-election had been dramatically curtailed by Tehrik-i-Taliban threats at the time. -KP


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