Haider Gilani, the son of former P.M. Yousaf Raza Gilani and who was taken hostage ahead of last year’s general elections, appears in a new video exhorting his family to pay ransom to secure his release. Haggard and with a full-grown beard, Haider says his captors have reduced the ransom demand from Rs. 2 billion to Rs. 500 million. He also says that he is not in the custody of the Pakistani Taliban, with whom Islamabad has been negotiating peace terms, and that he could be killed if the ransom is not paid within a month. The former prime minister has criticized Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the interior minister, for speaking about the video to the press before informing him or his family. Gilani says his family has been unable to sleep since learning about the video and that he, too, has been in touch with Haider’s captors, who are not interested in the ransom. “They want the release of certain prisoners from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi,” he told journalists.
From our May 3-10, 2014, issue.