US and Afghan forces have found Ali Haider Gilani, the kidnapped son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, alive in an operation in Afghanistan, the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Ali Haider Gilani, son of Yousaf Raza Gilani, “has been recovered today in a joint operation carried out by the Afghan and US security forces in Ghazni, Afghanistan”, the statement said, three years after he was kidnapped by suspected Taliban militants in Pakistan.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari revealed in a tweet that son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, Ali Haider Gilani is rescued by Afghan authorities in a successful operation in Afghanistan, as ARY News reported.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) May 10, 2016
Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar also revealed that Ali Haider Gilani’s is going to be done as he was not feeling well and once check-up is completed he will be sent to Pakistan.
AliHaider Gilani was kidnapped from Multan on May 9th 2013 during a rally in elections; he was has been recovered after 3 years.
While talking to ARY News, Abdul Qadir Gilani, brother of Ali Haider Gilani said that he was really happy upon hearing this news.
Pakistan‘s foreign ministry also said in a statement that Gilani had been recovered “today in a joint operation carried out by the Afghan and US security forces”.
Preparations are being made to return him toPakistan following a medical check-up, it said, but offered no further detail.
Yousaf Raza Gilani broke the news to a cheering crowd at a political rally in Pakistani-held Kashmir Tuesday.
“This rally has proved fortunate for me,” he said.
“When I was about to board the helicopter (to come) I received the information that my son Ali Haider Gilani, who was kidnapped three years ago, has been recovered.”
Hundreds of people converged on the family’s home in Multan in central Punjab province as the news broke, dancing to drumbeats and passing around sweets in celebration.
“He is still in Afghanistan and soon he will be among us,” he said of his brother.
Earlier, Abdul Qadir said he believed his father had gone to Afghanistan on learning the news.
“God has accepted somebody’s prayer. The prayer of those who love us,” a third brother, Ali Musa Gilani, told media.
NATO officials in Kabul were unable to immediately confirm the Pakistani statement.
“We are aware of the report,” a spokesman for the NATO-led international coalition in Afghanistan told AFP, adding that more details would be provided once they were “available for release”.
There were conflicting statements from Pakistani and Afghan officials over where the raid took place, whether in the eastern province of Ghazni or in neighbouring Paktia.
Provincial officials in Ghazni were also unable to provide immediate confirmation or details.
Gilani was kidnapped by militants in the outskirts of Multan on May 9, 2013, just two days before a bitterly contested national election in which he was campaigning.
Gunmen on a motorbike opened fire before abducting him in a black Honda car. His secretary and a bodyguard were killed, and four people wounded.
In May last year he was able to phone his father to tell him he was well.
The ex-premier’s family is one of the most powerful in Multan and a key clan in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which lost the 2013 election.
The foreign ministry statement comes two months after the kidnapped son of another Pakistani politician was also freed.
Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, spent five years in militant captivity before his abrupt release in March.
“Welcome back @haidergilani,” Shahbaz Taseer tweeted Tuesday, adding an image of the Pakistani flag.
Bilawal Bhutto, chairman of the opposition PakistanPeople’s Party and son of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, also tweeted about the release.
Gilani senior was prime minister from March 2008 until he was sacked and indicted by the Supreme Court in April 2012 for refusing to re-open corruption cases against the then-president.
He had complained after the kidnapping that his family was not given security, despite being threatened.
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