ISLAMABAD: (APS)May 10, 2016-Son of ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Ali Haider Gilani, who was abducted three years ago from Multan, has been recovered from Afghanistan’s Ghazni province in a joint operation carried out by Afghan and US forces against an ‘Al Qaeda affiliated group’.
Former premier Gilani received a call from the ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan, informing him that Ali Gilani was recovered in a successful operation in Afghanistan. Gilani was ‘ecstatically delighted’ after receiving the news, said the Afghan ambassador in a Facebook post.
Gilani is safe and in good health, and arrangements are being made to bring him back to Pakistan. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, was conveyed the news by the Afghan National Security Adviser.
News of Ali Gilani’s recovery was also announced by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and was later confirmed from the Foreign Office.
Fiza Batool Gilani, tweeted yesterday praying for her brother’s safe return.
Supporters celebrate homecoming
Supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) poured onto the streets in Multan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and chanted celebratory slogans.
“Gilani tere jaan nisar, beshumar beshumar [We would sacrifice our life for Gilani]!”
Dozens of people, of all ages, gathered at main junctions in the city waving party flags and distributing mithai (sweets).
The Gilani family has a strong voter base in Multan, where voters have lent overwhelming support to the former prime minister during elections.
PPP supporters were seen distributing sweets and dancing in the streets,
Kidnapped from Multan
Ali Haider was kidnapped by gunmen in Multan on May 9, 2013, days before he was slated to run for the Punjab Assembly.
Ali Haider was kidnapped when he was leaving a street corner meeting outside the house of a supporter at Matti Tal Road in Multan’s Farrukh Town.
His two associates were killed during the kidnapping.
At the time of the abduction, Ali Haider was contesting for the general election from PPP-200 constituency in Multan.
His family is 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.
The news follows the recovery of Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, who was recovered by security and intelligence forces from Balochistan’s Kuchlak area nearly five years after his abduction in 2011.
Shahbaz was kidnapped from Lahore on Aug 26, 2011, near his company’s head office in Gulberg area. He was driving towards the offices of the First Capital Group off M.M. Alam Road in Gulberg when he was intercepted by the kidnappers.
The abductors who, according to witnesses, used a Prado jeep and a motorcycle, bundled the young Taseer into the four-wheeler and rushed away unimpeded.
No details on the whereabouts of Shahbaz had earlier been made public.