Ex-premier’s son is freed
Rescued after three years in captivity
A joint raid by US and Afghan forces has rescued the son of a former Pakistani prime minister who was held captive for three years by Islamic militants, officials said.
Ali Haider Gilani was found during the raid yesterday near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan, according to a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Gilani, believed to be around 30, is the son of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani whose secular anti-Taliban Pakistan People’s Party’s led several major offensives against militants.
In Pakistan, the foreign ministry said the Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar told Pakistan’s foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz, in a telephone call about the development.
The raid took place in the Gayan district of Pakitka province, Ghani’s spokesman, Zafar Hashemi, said - not in Ghazni province as the Pakistani Foreign Office earlier reported.
It was conducted under the authority of the US anti-terrorist mission in Afghanistan, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to a statement by US military in Afghanistan.
“Four enemy combatants were killed as a result of the operation. No other injuries or damage was observed or reported,” the statement said. It said that the counter-terror mission was “planned and launched after evidence of terrorist activity was confirmed”.
A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Security Council, Tawad Ghorzang, told reporters in Kabul that the rescue took place during an ongoing operation in the area against Al Qaeda and other militants. The operation did not specifically seek Gilani, but came across him in the course of anti-terrorist operations, he said.
Gilani was in good health, Ghorzang added, and “will soon be handed through diplomatic channels to Pakistan.”.
Gunmen kidnapped Gilani in May 2013. There was no claim of responsibility.