Ali Haider Gilani recovered in Afghan-US operation
PM, COAS, Zardari and others congratulate Gilani
ISLAMABAD— Ali Haider Gilani son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been recovered today (Tuesday) in a joint operation carried out by the Afghan and US security forces in Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was kidnapped on 9th May, 2013.
The Afghan National Security Adviser, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, in a telephone call to the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, informed that Ali Haider Gilani son of Yousuf Raza Gilani, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, has been recovered.
Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan also telephoned former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to inform him about the recovery of Ali Haider Gilani. He said Gilani was in the custody of a group linked with Al-Qaida. Gilani was ‘ecstatically delighted’ after receiving the news, said the Afghan ambassador in a Facebook post.
Ali Haider Gilani’s transfer to Pakistan is being arranged following required medical check-up.
According to details, the US and Afghan forces have found the kidnapped son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani alive in an operation in Afghanistan.
The news of his release was also confirmed by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Bilawal Bhutto in a tweet said that Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani received telephone from Afghan Ambassador that his son Ali Haider Gilani has been recovered in a successful operation.
Ali Gilani, candidate for a provincial assembly seat in the district of Multan, was attending an election event in the town of Multan on May 9, 2013 when the gunmen pulled up, started shooting, grabbed and threw him into a vehicle and drove off.
Yousaf Raza Gilani was prime minister from March 2008 until he was sacked and indicted by the Supreme Court in April 2012 for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the then-president.
The former prime minister led major military offensives against Taliban strongholds
like Swat and South Waziristan in 2009.
Ali Gilani has been released few weeks after the kidnapped son of slain governor Salman Taseer was reunited with his family.
Taseer had been abducted by gunmen from Lahore in August 2011, months after his father was killed for opposing the country‘s blasphemy laws.
Taseer spent most of his time with TTP fighters who kept him in separate locations in North and South Waziristan, and in areas close to the Afghan border.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif expressed their joy over the safe recovery of Ali Haider Gilani.
The army chief telephoned Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and congratulated him on the safe recovery of his son.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani thanked General Raheel Sharif for cooperating at every level for the recovery of his son.
Former President and PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari also congratulated the former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the recovery of his son.
PPP Leader Qamar Zaman Kaira while talking to media congratulated the country and the Gilani family on the news of recovery of Ali Haider.
“We are thankful to the Afghan government and all security forces which made his recovery possible,” Kaira said.
Fauzia Gilani, wife of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani was overwhelmed with joy on getting information about the safe recovery of her son. Brother Musa Gilani said he was very happy over the report.
Supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) poured into streets in Multan, at the residence of Gilani family and in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and chanted celebratory slogans.
“Gilani tere jaan nisar, beshumar beshumar” (We would sacrifice our life for Gilani)!
Dozens of people, of all ages, gathered at main junctions of Multan in the city waving party flags and distributing mithai (sweets).
The Gilani family has a strong votebase in Multan, where voters have lent overwhelming support to the former prime minister during elections.
According to reports, Ali Haider Gilani was first brought to the Bagram airbase, which is the main airbase for American troops. He was then transferred to Kabul from where he will be brought to Islamabad through a special plane.