Son of former Pakistan prime minister kidnapped at election rally
Yousaf Raza Gilani's son, Ali Haider, who is running for parliament, was at a small gathering of supporters when gunmen struck
The son of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was abducted by unknown gunmen at an election rally in the central city of Multan.
The kidnapping happened on the final day of Pakistan's election campaign as fears rise of militant violence marring polling day on Saturday after weeks of a bloody campaign.
Ali Haider Gilani, who is running for a provincial parliamentary seat for the outgoing ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), was at a small gathering of supporters when gunmen arrived, began shooting, snatched the candidate, hurled him into their vehicle and drove off, said friends of the Gilani family in Multan.
In recent weeks, militants have continuously targeted candidates from secular parties as nearly 100 people have been killed in one of Pakistan's bloodiest election campaigns. Before the campaign, the Taliban threatened that they would target members of the PPP, and their recent coalition allies the Karachi-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the secular Pashtun Awami National Party.
No one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the kidnapping.
A day earlier, the Pakistani Taliban's spokesman issued a statement saying that they would unleash a series of attacks on election day, and even target foreign observers and foreign journalists covering the election. The threat of violence has forced the secular parties to reduce their profile to small, local efforts while rightwing parties have been able to campaign openly.
The kidnapping sparked fears that the election could be thrown into doubt. Members of the secular parties have said that the Taliban's threats constitute “pre-poll rigging” and compromise the ballot since they have not been provided adequate security. Ali Musa Gilani, a fellow triplet of Ali Haider's and also a parliamentary candidate, threatened that no election will take place in Multan if his brother isn't recovered by the end of the night.
Mr Gilani, the former prime minister, eased those fears and urged the election to go ahead as scheduled.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...