Police officers surround a car of Shahbaz Taseer, who was kidnapped from Lahore. – AP (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani official says the country's intelligence agency has been negotiating with militants over the release of the kidnapped son of an assassinated liberal politician.    

It is the first official confirmation that the government is in talks with the men holding Shahbaz Taseer, whose father was killed by his bodyguard last year for criticizing laws that call for the death penalty for insulting Islam.

Taseer was abducted last August in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said during a Geo News TV program broadcast Monday that Taseer's kidnappers are demanding a large ransom and the release of some of their colleagues.

Sanaullah said the Inter-Services Intelligence agency previously secured the release of the son-in-law of a former Pakistani army general in similar negotiations.

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