Ali Haider Gillani returns home after three years in militants captivity
Ali Haider Gillani’s family members were present at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport to receive him. Large number of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters gathered outside Gillani House to welcome him.
Emotional scenes were witnessed when Ali Haider Gillani arrived at his house and met his immediate family members.
PPP supporters danced on the occasion and showered flower petals as Gillani’s vehicle reached his residence.
In his tweet on Wednesday, Ali Haider Gillani thanked the nation for their prayers.
— Ali Haider Gilani (@AliHaiderGilani) May 11, 2016
Speaking to media, Gillani appreciated the efforts of US-Afghan forces for his rescue despite the fact that he was a foreign national.
He went on to say that United States officials provided all facilities to him following his recovery.
He added that the actions of Afghan authorities reflect their efforts for peace in the region.
Earlier, he was handed over to Pakistani Ambassador in Kabul by the Afghan authorities. He reached Lahore from Kabul in a private jet today.
Ali Haidar Gilani transfer to Pak ambassador pic.twitter.com/cigSAt6iE2
— Rahim Gul Sarwan (@rgsarwan) May 11, 2016
His brother Kasim Gillani thanked the Almighty and all those people who prayed for his brother’s safe return.
Thanks to almighty Allah! And Thank You everyone of you who prayed for my brother @haidergilani . Going to kabul to bring him back home!
— Kasim Gilani (@KasimGillani) May 11, 2016
The former prime minister’s son was kidnapped on May 9, 2013 from Multan during an election rally for General Elections 2013 and was in captivity of militants for last three years.
Reuters reports: Ali Haider Gilani was rescued on Monday by a joint force of Afghan and U.S. commandos who attacked a house held by al Qaeda militants in Paktika province, just across the border from Pakistan.
Before his departure from Afghanistan, Gilani, with long hair and a gray-streaked beard, thanked his rescuers.
Four Militants Killed
His rescue occurred partly by chance, as Afghan and U.S. special forces raided the suspected al Qaeda compound in Paktika.
The force had an “inkling” a hostage was being held there but was not aware it was Gilani, said Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for the NATO-led force.
He said four al Qaeda fighters were killed in the raid. Gilani was with his captors but was identified as a hostage after he did not try to resist.
It should be noted that Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had disclosed the news of Gillani’s recovery in a tweet by the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif yesterday telephoned ex-PM Gillani and congratulated him on recovery of his son. He also praised patience and confidence of Gillani family in the security forces.
Afghanistan’s National Security Advisor, in a telephone call to Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz informed him that Ali Haider Gillani has been recovered in a security operation.