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Raid to recover Gilani junior fails

17 May, 2013

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NOWSHERA: Six suspects, including two women, were arrested on Thursday during an operation to trace out the kidnapped son of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani, officials said.

A joint team of police and law enforcement agencies raided the property of a man named Sardar Ali near Akhora Khattak in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa early on Thursday. The team arrested six suspects and freed a kidnapped man named Abdul Wahab, but could not find Ali Haider Gilani, who was abducted on May 9. Nowshera district police chief Waqar Ahmed told the media that Abdul Wahab had said that Ali Haider too had been kept at the same place by the kidnappers.

Ahmed said that the raid was carried out after police gathered some "technical data" about the kidnappers. "Wahab told us that another kidnapped man from Punjab who said he was prime minister Gilani's son and a candidate in the elections was being held at the same place," Ahmed said. Two women were among the arrested persons. Ahmed said all the suspects detained by police were Afghan refugees.

"The gang leaders are still at large," Ahmed said. "We are conducting more raids. It is possible that they may have released Ali Haider and police would soon trace him." The arrested persons were later taken from Nowshera to Peshawar. Officials said the raid was carried out in a forested area. A large number of Afghan refugees and people from the tribal belt work on farms in the area, they said. Ali Moosa, another son of Yousaf Raza Gilani, said he could not confirm anything until he personally spoke to Ali Haider. "We have no information from the authorities.

"We are in touch with the Punjab Police, but they have no information," Moosa told reporters in his hometown of Multan. Suspected militants kidnapped Ali Haider, 27, while he was campaigning for the May 11 polls in Multan. The kidnappers shot and killed his personal secretary and a bodyguard. Officials had earlier said they believed the abduction was the handiwork of a faction of the Punjabi Taliban. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and the Gilani family has not been contacted by the abductors.

There was no official word on Ali Haider's recovery. DPO Nowshera said that efforts were underway to get him released from the kidnappers. Talking to media persons, the DPO said that operation was launched on reports that Ali Haider Gilani was being kept there but it led to rescue of another person and search for Ali Gilani was still underway. Rescued Wahab said that the son of former prime minister was held captive with him but the abductors moved him elsewhere few days ago.

Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had sought help from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for the recovery of his son. Ali Haider, a candidate from PP-200, was kidnapped after he addressed a corner meeting in Farrukh Town in the limits of the Seetal Marri Police Station. Eyewitnesses say the gun-wielding attackers forced him into a numberless car and vanished in no time, but before kidnapping Haider, they gunned down his personal secretary, Mohiuddin Bhutta, and a bodyguard. Wahab said that Ali Haider was subjected to severe torture. Talking to reporters, he said Ali Haider Gilani was brought to Nowshera only five days back and was subjected to severe torture.


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