Multan: Ex-PM Gilani’s son kidnapped
MULTAN: Unidentified armed men kidnapped Syed Ali Haider Gilani, the youngest son of former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, and killed two of his companions here on Thursday. Haider Gilani is a PPPP candidate from PP–200 constituency and he was on his election campaign in Farrukh Town when the attackers struck. Witnesses said that the kidnappers came on a black car and two motorbikes, and they opened fire as soon as Ali Haider Gilani came out of a house after a corner meeting.
“They dragged Gilani into the car and disappeared,” an eye witness said. As a result of the firing, Ali Haider’s personal secretary Mohaiuddin and his security guard Ameen were killed, while another security guard Qaswar, who was injured, was stated to be critical.
City Police Officer (CPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar and other officials rushed to the spot after the incident. “It looks to be a terrorism hit. We’ve sealed roads in the entire Multan district and adjoining areas to recover Ali Haider Gilani,” he told journalists.
Unconfirmed reports said that guards of Ali Haider Gilan had caught one of the kidnappers and handed him over to the police but the authorities were not disclosing this yet. He had reportedly provided some vital information. The kidnappers along with Gilani were said to be hiding in Kabirwala area, in district Khanewal, which is said to be having hideouts of banned organisations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). Apparently the kidnappers had disposed of Haider Gilani’s mobile phone, so that police could not track down their location.
Earlier, intensely emotional scenes were observed at the spot as Ali Haider’s brother Ali Musa Gilani burst into tears and expressed strong reaction. “If my brother is not recovered till tonight, there will be no election in NA-148, 151 and PP–200,” he declared. Musa is a PPPP candidate from NA-148 his brother. Musa said that his party members were not carrying weapons nor keeping any guards as per election commission’s code of conduct. “There was no security, no weapons. They [gunmen] came and easily took him [Ali Haider] away.” Abdul Qadir Gilani, another brother of Haider who is contesting from NA–151, said that the incident took place because of poor security.
Yousaf Raza Gilani told journalists at his residence that although the PPPP strongly condemns the attack, it would not boycott the election as that could destabilise the country. Dubbing the kidnapping of his son was a very unfortunate incident, he said, “We’ve recorded out protest and the entire country demands early recovery of Ali Haider Gilani.”
The former PM urged their supporters to stay calm and let the law take its course. He said he had talked to all law enforcement agencies and asked them to recover Haider as soon as possible. Gilani said the incident was in contrast to the tradition of peaceful politics and it was an attempt to deprive ‘moderate’ forces of level playing field. But the PPPP, he said, did not want to sabotage the polls as it would not be in country’s interest. Out Staff Reporter adds from Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari ordered the ECP, the government and investigative agencies to ensure peaceful elections and recover former PM’s son, president’s spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said.
Prime Minister Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso telephoned the ex-PM and expressed his deep concern over the incident. Khoso told Gilani that he was in constant contact with the provincial government and has issued instructions for coordinated efforts of the law enforcing agencies for an early and safe recovery of Ali Haider. He assured him that all necessary steps would be taken.