A new terrorist group calling itself the Al-Mansooreen Brigade has claimed responsibility for the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani in the lead-up to the May general elections.
Gilani, the son of Pakistan’s former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, was kidnapped during a campaign event in Multan on May 9, just two days before the general elections on May 11. Gilani’s personal secretary, Muhammad Muhiuddin, was killed in the attack while one of his personal security guards was wounded.
Abu Yazeed, a spokesman for the Al-Mansooreen Brigade, said: “Ali Haider Gilani is in our custody and is safe and sound.” Calling from an Afghan phone number, the spokesman added: “We will release the video of Mr. Gilani shortly after Eid and will apprise about our demands.”
According to the spokesman, his group specifically targeted Gilani. “Gilani’s family was our target and that’s why we kidnapped him,” he added.
The abduction, originally believed to have been perpetrated by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan but never claimed, was seen as a result of the TTP’s pre-poll threats to several political parties. The TTP had warned people against attending campaign events organized by the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Awami National Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, terming them “us-Islamic.”