Shahbaz Taseer reunites with family

Shahbaz’s recovery came eight days after his father’s killer was executed on February 29


Our Correspondent/afp March 09, 2016
Shahbaz reunites with his mother. PHOTO: NNI

LAHORE: The kidnapped son of slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was reunited with his family on Wednesday, declaring it was ‘good to be back’ after nearly five years in the Taliban’s captivity.

Sporting a freshly-trimmed beard and long hair, Shahbaz Taseer appeared healthy as relatives greeted him at the Lahore airport just over a week after his father’s killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was hanged.

Shahbaz Taseer reunites with family in Lahore after years in captivity

“We’re very, very, very happy and this is the start of a new life for us,” Shahbaz’s sister Sanam Taseer told AFP over the phone. “It’s a beautiful day.”

“We’re so happy,” added his aunt Ayesha Tammy Haq.

Shahbaz later posted a public message on Facebook via his wife Maheen’s account: “I dont know my facebook password. But good to be back dude!- shabby,” he wrote, signing off with his nickname.

He had reached Lahore on a special aircraft arranged by intelligence officials a day after his recovery from a hotel in Kuchlak town near Quetta. He landed at the Walton Airport and was driven to his house near Cavalry Ground amid strict security arrangements. A heavy contingent of policemen, including senior police officers, escorted him.

Pictures released by the military’s media wing, the Inter Services Public Relations, showed Shahbaz smiling among family members, which included his mother, wife, in-laws, uncle and siblings.

His family was visibly euphoric at the reunion. Through a tweet on the micro-blogging website Twitter, his wife expressed ‘Heartfelt Gratitude’ for everyone’s prayers for Shahbaz. His sister Sara was ‘Overwhelmed by relief and gratefulness’ as she thanked everyone for sharing the family’s pain and happiness.

Shahbaz Taseer freed at last

Shahbaz was on his way to work on August 26, 2011, when he was abducted at gunpoint from Lahore’s Gulberg area, the same year his father was assassinated on January 4.

On Tuesday the Frontier Corps said he was freed in a joint operation by paramilitary troops and intelligence agents from Al Saleem hotel in Kuchlak. The intelligence-based operation did not yield any arrest, neither was there any confrontation with the captors, FC spokesperson Khan Wassey had said.

Shahbaz’s recovery came eight days after his father’s killer was executed on February 29. Qadri was an elite police command tasked with guarding the then Punjab governor.

A day before the execution, Maheen had tweeted: “The only victory for our family will be when @ShahbazTaseer comes home safe...”

Shahbaz Taseer recovered from Balochistan after five years in captivity

Shahbaz’s brother Shehryar had tweeted the same day: “Mumtaz Qadri being hanged is a victory [for] #Pakistan. NOT the #Taseer family. The safe return of my brother is the only victory my family wants.”

As news of Shahbaz’s return broke, friends, family, and political and other personalities visited him at home. The phone at the Taseer residence rang off the hook the entire day as well-wishers sought to congratulate the family.


Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2016.

COMMENTS (2)

Last Man Alive | 5 years ago | Reply Was a special plane chartered for him by the Government of Pakistan at people's expense if he did not belong to the corrupt ruling class of this country and were an ordinary subject ???
zeshan | 5 years ago | Reply nice news
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