Former Pak PM's son rescued from Taliban after 3 years

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Ialamabad, May 10: A joint raid by American and Afghan forces on Tuesday (May 10) rescued the son of a former Pakistani prime minister from the Taliban captivity in Afghanistan after three long years, Pakistan's foreign ministry said, the AP reported.

Afghan National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar told Pakistani Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz over telephone that Ali Haider Gailani, the 30-something son of former Pakistani premier Yusuf Raza Gilani, was found during a raid in Ghazni province and arrangements were being put to place to send him to Pakistan, the latter's foreign office informed.

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Under the senior Gilani, who served as the prime minister between 2008-12, his Pakistan People's Party (PPP) carried out several major offensives against Islamic extremists. Last year, the former premier said the kidnappers of his son sought the release of several al-Qaida prisoners in exchange for freeing his son. The militants allowed the father and son speak over phone for eight minutes, it was learned.

The junior Gilani was abducted by gunmen in May 2013 in his hometown Multan in central Pakistan, several days before the general election held that year.

Abdul Qadi Gilani, another son of the former premier, praised the Afghan authorities and Pakistani Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif for Haidar's rescue.

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif also expressed his pleasure over Haidar's rescue while PPP's current leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Twitter the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad first calling the elder Gilani to inform him about his son.

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