Kidnap ordeal father Raja Naqqash Saeed returns to England

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The Independent Online

The father of a five-year-old British boy held captive in Pakistan has returned to the UK, sources said today.

Sahil Saeed, from Oldham in Greater Manchester, was grabbed by gun and grenade-wielding raiders from his grandmother's house on Thursday.

His father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, was with him on the trip and had remained in the country amid efforts to rescue Sahil.

Police appeared to be no closer to finding Sahil as Mr Saeed arrived back in Britain.

But the BBC reported that police in Pakistan had wanted Mr Saeed to stay in the country as a witness.

The raiders struck as Sahil and his father were preparing to fly home, apparently subjecting the family to a six-hour ordeal after breaking into the house in Jhelum.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We continue to provide consular assistance to the family."

Pakistan's prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called Sahil's father at the weekend to assure him the family had the full support of his government.

On Sunday, the boy's mother, Akila Naqqash, made a direct appeal to the abductors from the family home in Oldham to end their ordeal and let her son go.

In a message to the kidnappers, Ms Naqqash, 31, said: "I just want my son back. All is forgiven, I will forgive you.

"You may have children yourself. I forgive you."

Sources close to the family in Shaw, Oldham, said they were unaware that Mr Saeed had returned to the UK or why he would choose to do so as the hunt to find his son continues in Pakistan.

The family has been in regular contact with Sahil's father since the boy's disappearance.

The current whereabouts of Mr Saeed were unknown.