Gunmen seized Ali Haider Gilani, the son of former Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and a candidate for the Punjab Assembly, in a hail of gunfire on Thursday afternoon in Multan. One of the candidate’s aides has been shot dead, another five people wounded.
They “came on a motorbike,” police officer Khurram Shakur told reporters about the kidnappers. “They also had a car with them, and they opened fire and abducted Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Haider in a black Honda.” Shakur said police have “closed the entry and exit points [in the city] and launched a search.” Another police officer confirmed the killing of Gilani’s aide. His “secretary Ghulam Mohiuddin was killed in the firing,” said Abdul Qayyum, adding that five other people, including one of Ali Haider Gilani’s guards, were injured.
The incident happened in the Matital area of Multan on the last day of official campaigning for Saturday’s elections. Yousaf Raza Gilani is ineligible to contest the May 11 elections as a result of his conviction last year by the Supreme Court. Ali Haider and two of his brothers who are running for the National Assembly are all candidates of the Pakistan Peoples Party, which has been attacked by the Pakistani Taliban.
Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Musa spoke to reporters in tears after his brother’s abduction. “We want our brother back tonight. If we don’t get him, we will not allow elections to be held in our area,” he said.