Father helping UK police to find son in Pakistan

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The Independent Online

The father of a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped in Pakistan last week has returned home and is helping officers find his son, police said today.

Raja Naqqash Saeed, 28, is aiding authorities "to ensure the safe return of Sahil", Chief Superintendent Darren Shenton said.

Mr Saeed, who was holidaying with his son in Pakistan when he was snatched on Wednesday last week, has now been reunited with his wife Akila at their home in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

Sahil Saeed was taken at gunpoint from his grandmother's house in the Punjab region of Pakistan by raiders who put a £100,000 ransom on his head.

Speculation that his father is a suspect in the case is not correct, Mr Shenton said.

Police in Pakistan have made several arrests but none has been made in the UK.

He said: "Mr Saeed is working with us, and his wife and the family for the safe release of his son.

"GMP (Greater Manchester Police) has not made any arrests in relation to the Pakistani investigation.

"Our primary concern is Sahil's welfare and his safe return and the role of the media in reporting this matter responsibly is paramount to this objective."

Mr Saeed and his son were at the end of a two-week holiday to visit his sick mother when the little boy was snatched.

Raiders struck as the pair were preparing to take a taxi to the airport for their flight home to the UK.

The kidnappers originally set a deadline of noon the next day for the money to be delivered.

After Sahil was taken, several men - including a taxi driver - were arrested.

Four police officers were suspended after it emerged that they did not initially respond to the family's emergency call.

Reports earlier this week that Sahil had been found turned out to be false, causing more anguish for the family.

Mr Shenton said the Pakistani police are in charge of the investigation and GMP are assisting them, but have no officers out there.

He said: "Both authorities are keen to ensure that Sahil is returned safely to his mother and father at the earliest opportunity.

"Following his return from Pakistan, GMP are working with Sahil's father, his wife and the family to ensure the safe return of Sahil."