Gunmen yesterday kidnapped a son of a former Pakistani prime minister canvassing for votes on the final day of campaigning for landmark elections, which have been marred by bloody attacks.
The family of Yousuf Raza Gilani is one of the most powerful in the central town of Multan and a key clan in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), whose campaign for re-election has been dramatically curtailed by Taliban threats.
There was no claim of responsibility for the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani.
Police said Haider’s secretary was killed and one of his guards wounded, along with four other people, in the abduction on the outskirts of Multan.
“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 is a provincial assembly candidate for the secular PPP and has two other brothers standing for the national assembly.
Gilani senior was disqualified after being sacked and indicted by the Supreme Court last year for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the president.
“We want our brother back tonight. If we don’t get him, we will not allow elections to be held in our area,” said elder son, Ali Musa.
The PPP has led the national government for the last five years but has run a lacklustre campaign, with its chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, too young to contest the vote and kept hidden due to security threats.