Afghan ambassador to Pakistan confirms former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son recovered in security operation.
Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son, Haider Gilani, was recovered on Tuesday, three years after he was kidnapped from a political rally in Multan.
“In an operation by Afghan Special Forces in Ghanzi Province this morning, Mr. Ali Haidar Gilani, the son of Pakistan former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was recovered after three years of captivity from an Al Qaeda-affiliated group,” said Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal in a Facebook post. “He is well and will be repatriated to his family soon,” he added.
In a separate statement, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said Gilani had been recovered in a joint Afghan-U.S. operation and would return to Pakistan following a medical check-up.
Fiza Gilani, Haider’s sister, said the entire family was overjoyed at the news of his recovery. “My mother was crying when she found out and has been praying ever since,” she told Newsweek by phone. “I can’t even explain my joy right now.”
Fiza confirmed that her brother was currently at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan with American forces, adding that the family did not yet know when he would return. “He spoke to his 4-year-old son on the phone. He is excited to be rescued and in good health.”
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, whose party Gilani was campaigning for when he was abducted, posted about Gilani’s recovery on Twitter.
Ali Haider Gilani, 29, was seized by suspected Taliban in a hail of gunfire on May 9, 2013, two days before the national elections. Gunmen on a motorbike opened fire before abducting Ali and leaving his secretary and a bodyguard dead.