Ex-PM Gilani's son kidnapped
ISLAMABAD (PAN): Gunmen on a motorcycle attacked an election meeting and kidnapped a son of Pakistan's former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Multan district of southern Punjab province on Thursday.
Ali Haider Gilani, a candidate of the Pakistan People's Party and son of Gilani, was seized on Multan's Matti-Tal road and his personal secretary, Mohiuddin, killed by the assailants.
One of his guards was wounded along with four other people, District Police Officer (DPO) Khurram Shakoor told reporters. The attackers opened fire and dragged Ali Haider into a waiting black Honda car.
Police said all entry and exit points had been sealed and a massive search operation was underway to recover Haider and apprehend the kidnappers.
Interior Minister Habib Khan also said searches were ongoing and the kidnap would not impact the May 11 elections. He added all available resources were being used to recover Haider Gilani.
Witness Riaz Shahid told Pajhwok Afghan News he saw blood on Haider's legs and he might have been injured.
Haider's brother Musa Gilani warned of boycotting the vote if the contender was not recovered safe and sound by tomorrow.
Haider was attending an election event on the last day of campaigning when the gunmen pulled up, started shooting, grabbed and threw him into a vehicle and drove off, witnesses said.
A Multan resident who attended the rally told a local TV station that the attackers first pulled up in a car and motorcycle outside the venue where the younger Gilani was meeting with a few hundred supporters.
When he came out of the building, two gunmen opened fire, killing one of the people in Gilani’s entourage.
“One of the gunmen grabbed Haider who had blood splashed on his trousers,” said Shehryar Ali in comments aired by Pakistani television broadcaster Geo News.
Saturday’s election marks a historic milestone for Pakistan as one civilian government completes its term and prepares to hand off to another. But the race has been marred by a string of violent attacks against candidates and election events.
Haider’s father served for roughly four years as prime minister but was forced out of office last summer by the Supreme Court after refusing to pursue a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari.
So far more than 100 people have been killed in attacks, including bombs and suicide assaults, in pre-election violence. The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has claimed most of the attacks.
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