MULTAN: Ali Haider Gilani, a son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who was kidnapped from Multan on Thursday, remained untraced despite efforts and frantic searches conducted by law enforcement agencies in Multan.
The kidnapping occurred, when a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) corner meeting ongoing on Multan's Matti-Tal road, was attacked by gunmen.
Police said Ali Haider Gilani's personal secretary, Mohiuddin, was killed in the attack and one of his guards wounded, along with four other people, in the abduction.
“People came on a motorbike. They also had a car with them and they opened fire and abducted Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider in a black Honda,” police officer Khurram Shakur told reporters.
Haider was a provincial assembly candidate for the secular PPP and his two brothers Ali Musa Gilani and Abdul Qadir Gilani are standing for the national assembly.
After the kidnapping, Gilani's sons, Ali Musa and Abdul Qadir were seen to be angry and in tears.
"I will not allow elections to be held in my constituency at any cost. My brother is gone, how can I let polls take place in Multan," an emotional Ali Musa Gilani told television channels.
According to police, all entry and exit points for Multan were sealed and a massive search operation was underway to recover Ali Haider and apprehend those responsible.
Interior Minister Habib Khan also said searches were ongoing and the kidnapping would not impact the coming elections.
Caretaker prime minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso expressed concern over the abduction and called former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani to discuss the incident.
He said all available resources would be used to recover Haider Gilani and assured that the culprits would be brought to justice.
Moreover, chief election commissioner Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim also condemned the kidnapping and called upon the caretaker government to provide full security to election candidates.
Ali Haider Gilani was contesting for the May 11 election from PPP-200 constituency in Multan.
His family is one of the most powerful in the central town of Multan and a key clan in the PPP, whose campaign for re-election has been dramatically curtailed by Tehrik-i-Taliban threats.