Ali Haider Gilani arrives in Lahore after three years in captivity

Son of former PM Yousuf raza Gilani was recovered in a joint operation of security forces in Afghanistam


Ali Haider Gilani speaks to media after he was rescued in Afghanistan in a joint operation by Afghan and US forces, at the Defence ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan May 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: The freed son of a former premier reunited with his family in a shower of rose petals in Lahore Wednesday, three years after he was kidnapped then taken to Afghanistan.

Ali Haider Gilani, son of Yousaf Raza Gilani, was rescued during a counter-terror raid by US and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday.

He 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.

Ali Haider Gilani (C), is escorted by Afghan Special Forces personnel from an Afghan National Army helicopter at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul on May 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Crowds of well-wishers dancing to drum beats greeted the 30-year-old's arrival at his family's home in Lahore in a black SUV strewn with pink rose petals.

Gilani, who is a triplet, was accompanied by his brother Ali Kasim on the journey from Kabul in a plane that the foreign ministry said was sent by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Four to five people offered us the use of their plane,” he had said.



His father was reportedly absent from the reunion, with television channels reporting his appearance in a court in Islamabad on corruption charges.

"I really appreciate the... Afghan forces efforts," Gilani, bearded and wearing a white T-shirt and camouflage baseball cap, told media at a ceremony earlier Wednesday in Kabul.

"I would also like to thank the US forces which at the critical moments of my release provided me with shelter, food and medical care.

"And, at this time, I am looking forward to be reunited with my family, just getting back to normal life."

Gilani was rescued in the Giyan district of Paktika province Tuesday by US Special Operations Forces and Afghan commandos, NATO has said.

Watch Ali Haider Gilani reunite with family after three years:



NATO said the raid was carried out under Operation Freedom's Sentinel, the US mission focusing on counter-terrorism as well as training, advising and assisting Afghan troops.

Four "enemy combatants" were killed during the raid, it said.

The son of former Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Ali Haider Gilani (C), gestures as he is escorted by Afghan Special Forces personnel from an Afghan National Army helicopter at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul on May 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP Ali Haider Gilani (C), gestures as he is escorted by Afghan Special Forces personnel from an Afghan National Army helicopter at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul on May 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Homecoming: Political parties welcome Ali Haider’s rescue

Ali Haider Gilani (C), shakes hands with Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Syed Abrar Hussain at the Ministry of Defence in Kabul on May 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP



https://twitter.com/ForeignOfficePk/status/730271369422721025

Parties welcomed recovery

Political parties have welcomed the rescue of Ali Haider.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated the Gillani family. “I am pleased at the news of the safe recovery of your son. I pray to Allah Almighty he may return home soon,” Nawaz said in a statement issued by the PM House.

Ali Haider Gilani recovered from Afghanistan after three years in captivity

“I pay tribute to you and your whole family for spending three years with courage and patience.”

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, which the Gillanis have been associated for decades, tweeted his congratulations soon after the news was announced.

PPP Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari also welcomed the rescue.

“The recovery of Ali after three years is welcome news not only for the Gillani family but also for the whole nation,” he said in a statement.

Two years on...: Ex-premier Gilani’s abducted son ‘happy and safe’

Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan also congratulated the Gillani’s family over Ali’s rescue.

“Congratulations to the Gillani family for the safe recovery of their son. No parent should have to go through this ordeal,” Imran wrote on the microblogging website Twitter.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq termed the recovery of Ali good news for the Gillani family. “I congratulate Yousaf Raza Gillani and his entire family on the recovery,” Haq said while talking to The Express Tribune.

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COMMENTS (17)

David | 4 years ago | Reply The Afghan government is fighting consistently the terrorists.(Good job Afghan special forces) In other hand the Pakistani government is speaking with a forked tongue! Pakistan suppressing terrorists who are against Pakistani government, but harboring and supporting politically, financially and militarily the terrorist who are operating against Afghanistan.
Trollslayer | 4 years ago | Reply @Grace Ali Haider Gilani would have been a dead Paki, if Afghans had not rescued him. Your hatred for Afghans is beneath contempt and your narrative is stale and outdated. Afghan forces are capable and you know it, but your hatred for Afghans prevents you from acknowledging it.
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