Don't hurt my boy, mother begs kidnappers

The mother of a five-year-old British boy snatched by gun-wielding robbers in Pakistan wept today as she begged the kidnappers not to hurt him

Akila Naqqash, 31, said there was "no way" her family could afford the £100,000 ransom on her son Sahil Saeed's head.



He was snatched this morning in the Punjab region after his grandmother's house was raided by five robbers.



Speaking at her home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Ms Naqqash paid tribute to her "really sweet boy".



She added: "We have got no idea why we were targeted, we don't have any money. There is no way we could raise that money, there is nothing we can do.



"I would say (to the kidnappers) just why? Why can't you just be a grown person? He is just a little boy. He is just five years old, he was due to come home today. Please don't hurt him.





Breaking down in tears, Ms Naqqash added: "He is just a really sweet little boy, he is really tiny, he would not harm anyone."

She told how her son was "always smiling" but had become fed up with eating chapatis since his father had taken him to stay with relatives. He had been due to fly home with his father today.



Ms Naqqash added: "I phoned him every day of the last two weeks.



"When I last spoke to him he just said he couldn't wait to come home and have a jacket potato, he was fed up of the chapatis. He loves jacket potatoes with sweetcorn, cucumber, salad, he is a very healthy little boy.



"He is always smiling, he has lots of friends. He is very popular at school, he loves his friends and his teachers and his school dinners.



"He was having such a good time out there, he was excited about going out there and seeing his grandmother."



His father, Raja Naqqash Saeed, said the kidnappers had originally put a noon deadline on the ransom for his safe return.



The father was "hysterical" after five gunmen held the family at gunpoint throughout the night, the family said.



He said robbers armed with guns and hand grenades broke into the house in Jhelum, where he and his son were staying with the youngster's grandmother.



Ms Naqqash, who also has two daughters, Anisha, four, and Hafsah, 21 months, said she had heard nothing from the kidnappers.

She added: "My husband would swap places if he could, he said to them 'take me, I'll be your hostage'. We just want him back home.



"I found out at 7.45am when my sister knocked on the door, I was just making breakfast for my daughter.



"She said 'you need to sit down I've got some bad news'.



"I just broke down and thought it can't be true so I phoned my husband and he said it was true.



"I just cried and cried. That was the last time I spoke to him, I cant get through to him.



"We haven't heard anything from the kidnappers. All we can do is wait."



The boy's aunt, Amrana Iftikhar, called for the Prime Minister to intervene.



She added: "I just can't imagine life without Sahil. We just want him home safely.



"We have had no contact with the authorities in this country. Please just help us. He is five years old he is going to be really scared, he never leaves his mum and dad's side.



"I would say to the Prime Minister do as much as you can to get him back because we need him home with us."



Relatives said they were beaten, slapped and kicked by the robbers during a six-hour ordeal.



The father told Sky News: "They took me into the separate room and they tortured me.



"They said 'we will take your son and you will have to pay £100,000'."



A spokesman for the British High Commission in Islamabad said they had broken into the property at 11pm local time.



They eventually fled with the boy and household items, believed to be jewellery and money.



The family had been due to fly back to Britain today, the commission spokesman added.



Officials are in touch with the boy's family and local authorities are investigating the snatch, he added.



He said: "I can confirm that he was taken after robbers broke into the property at 11 last night. The kidnappers held the family at gunpoint overnight and left with the boy as well as some household possessions.



"We cannot confirm details of the ransom amount but the father has said it is £100,000."



Jane Sheridan, head teacher at Rushcroft Primary School where Sahil attended, said she was "deeply concerned".



She said: "Rushcroft is a very close-knit and friendly school community and Sahil and his family are very much in all our thoughts.



"I have informed the children, staff and governors about the situation today and clearly they are all very worried.



"Everyone at the school is deeply concerned about Sahil's welfare and we are doing all we can to support his family during this extremely difficult time."

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Extras
indybest

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C#.NET VB6 Developer (Software Developer, Software Engineer)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C#.NET VB6 Developer (Software Developer, Softwa...

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition