Daylight abduction: Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son kidnapped

Published: May 10, 2013

Ali Haider Gilani at a meeting prior to his abduction by gunmen during his election campaign. PHOTO: AFP

MULTAN: 

Armed assailants kidnapped the son of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday, while also killing two Pakistan Peoples Party workers in the attack.

The incident took place at a PPP corner meeting in Farrukhabad, near Matital Road in Multan, where the former premier’s son, Ali Haider Gilani, was scheduled to address.

According to the Central Police Officer (CPO), Multan, eight armed men riding a black Honda City car and two 125 cc motorcycles, opened fire at a corner meeting in Farrukh Town, an area falling in Ali Haider’s PP-200 constituency.

Witnesses said a bullet also hit Ali Haider and that he was bleeding when the kidnappers dragged him into the car.

The attack killed Ali Haider’s secretary, Muhammad Muhiuddin, and his private guard, Amin Ahmed.

Following the incident, the police sealed all entry and exit points into the city, and Inspector General (IG) of Punjab police summoned a report from RPO Multan. The police also arrested five suspects, two of whom they claim have important information related to the case.

While they have not yet released any official information about the interrogations, sources claim the former premier’s son has been shifted to sub-district Kabeerwaala, a LeJ stronghold.

Though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, Yousaf Raza Gilani and other family members confirmed that Ali Haider had been receiving death and kidnapping threats from Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) when contacted, refused to comment on the abduction incident.

“I do not want to comment [on the incident],” TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan said. “We do not know as to who has kidnapped him, and why and how he was kidnapped.”

Following the incident, PPP workers started to protest but Yousaf Raza Gilani urged his supporters to remain peaceful and to pray for his son’s return.

Speaking to the media, Ali Haider’s brother, Ali Musa Gilani, said PPP will not allow elections to take place in any constituency of Multan if his brother is not traced by Thursday night.

Musa also said that his party members were not allowed to carry weapons, or keep security guards as per the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) code of conduct.

“There was no security and no weapons. They [the gunmen] came and easily took him [Ali Haider] away,” an impassioned Musa said.

Abdul Qadir Gilani, Ali Haider’s eldest brother, also shared the same opinion, saying his party was deprived of all security measures and were receiving direct threats from the Taliban.

However, later in the day Yousaf Raza Gilani ruled out the possibility of boycotting elections. “Elections are a national obligation and we will not boycott them,” he said.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi lashes out

Condemning Ali Haider’s abduction, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the ECP should take notice of Ali Musa’s statements.

The PTI vice-chairman told The Express Tribune that Gilani’s sons were threatening other candidates and this was irresponsible of them.

“PTI considers the statement a direct threat to all other candidates contesting elections, especially those from Multan,” said Qureshi, who is contesting NA-148 against Musa.

Condemnation

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari condemned the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani and demanded measures to be taken for his immediate recovery.

When queried on Twitter on providing security to candidates, Punjab Chief Minister, Najam Sethi pointed to the logistical impossibility of providing adequate security to more than 5,000 election candidates.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2013.

Reader Comments (9)

  • Shahid Kamran
    May 10, 2013 - 5:20AM

    Our innocent Caretaker CM should know that all candidates do not require security after two major parties of Punjab have been given free pass by terrorist groups.

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    May 10, 2013 - 6:00AM

    “Najam Sethi pointed to the logistical impossibility of providing adequate security to more than 5,000 election candidates.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++\
    Mr Sethi pls dont make excuses! No security No Elections.

    Recommend

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    May 10, 2013 - 6:40AM

    Musa Gilani is saying that there was no security , my understanding is that the former Prime Minister has some security contingent with him all the time which is being provided by the State of Pakistan. I think what he is saying that their body guards were not armed to the teeth, and since there was no threat to the former PM, the security might not have intervened. What ever the real situation was, I will not wish anything bad to happen to the family of PM Gilani and we as nation should stand up to these terrorists who has kidnapped Ali Haider and pray to God Almighty for his safe return to his family. My sympathy and prayers are with the Gilani family.

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  • lkhan
    May 10, 2013 - 7:32AM

    It is sad that the elections be tainted with such tragic loss of human life, and suffering. That terrorists should dictate who can electioneer and not, with the daily loss of lives of party members of those who they have declare a war on, including women, children and police forces. Qureshi’s self righteous and arrogant remarks under the circumstances are uncalled for, indeed callous. The elections are a must as Mr. Gilani has declared in spite of his family’s suffering, yet they can not be declared fair…. It is a shame terrorists will decide who will do well….. time for all parties that give them protection be declared illegal with the force of strong anti terorism measures enforced. One can not negotiate with ruthless killers who are set to destroy the nation. They will turn on those they support one day. Until the rule of law is applied without delays, harshly, the only language such extremists understand, with a strategy in place backed by all political parties, there will be no end to the senseless suffering of Pakistanis.

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    May 10, 2013 - 9:29AM

    There must be some very compelling reasons and not otherwise to kidnap such a high value person which be investigated in deep depth to dig out truth. None has claimed responsibility. I wish his speedy recovery, aameen. Real test case for police to bring back Ali to his parents and hours have passed with no clue. How an ordinary citizen can get help from police, if need be, is the burning question to be answered?
    Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / [email protected]

    Recommend

  • Prabhat Pal
    May 10, 2013 - 10:07AM

    In other news, Pakistan issues caution notice to it’s citizens regarding travel safety in India.

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    May 10, 2013 - 11:25AM

    It is shameful that even the son of a former PM cannot be protected. Restoring the dignity and independence of the Police force and liberating them from all influences should be the topmost priority of the incoming Government.

    Recommend

  • bhinder
    May 10, 2013 - 11:35AM

    “it was musharraf’s fault” only a matter of time before ppp come to this conclusion

    Recommend

  • Irfan
    May 10, 2013 - 3:58PM

    For five years PPP didnt do anything for missing Baloches. And now their own party candidate is missing…….. They can feel the feeling of Baloch.

    Recommend

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