London, Mar.30 (ANI): The British Government has said that foreign office officials were neither consulted nor they did authorise the ransom paid by the family of five year old Sahil Saeed, who was kidnapped earlier this month from his grandmother's house in Pakistan's Punjab province's Jhelum.
Sahil's family had reportedly paid 110,000 pounds as ransom to the abductors to secure his safe release. The money was paid in Paris, hours after which the toddler was found abandoned by the kidnappers a few miles away from his ancestral house in Jhelum.
British foreign office minister Baroness Kinnock clarified that the government's policy of 'not making or facilitating substantive concessions to hostage-takers, including the payment of ransoms, is long standing and clear.'
"We believe that making such concessions rewards hostage-taking and encourages future kidnaps. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials were neither consulted about nor authorised payment of a ransom to secure the release of Sahil Saeed in Pakistan," Kinnock said while replying to a question raised by Liberal Democrat Lord Dykes.
She said officials would continue to offer 'consular assistance' to the families of those taken by kidnappers, The Mirror reports.
Earlier, unconfirmed reports in the Manchester Evening News had suggested that the Greater Manchester Police helped 'facilitate' the ransom payment, but the force refused to confirm or deny the claim.
Five persons were detained in Spain and France in connection with the abduction. Several arrests were also made in Pakistan in connection with the much reported kidnapping. (ANI)