File photo of former Pakistan PM Yusuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider Gilani. ANI
Ali Haider Gilani, the son of former Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was kidnapped while he was campaigning at a corner meeting in his home constituency on the outskirts of Multan on Thursday, two days ahead of the country's general elections.
The youngest son of Gilani, Ali Haider is standing for a Punjab provincial assembly seat.
The kidnappers arrived fully armed in different cars and attacked the corner meeting, shooting at all those present. In the chaos that erupted, the kidnappers killed Ali Haider's personal secretary and dragged Ali Haider into their waiting vehicle.
They then left the scene of the crime, throwing away all Ali Haider's possessions, including his mobile phone which police said could have been used to trace their whereabouts.
Police said the kidnapping was done in a manner that suggested planning and professional execution.
Ali Musa Gilani, the brother of Ali Haider, later told the media that the kidnappers attacked the corner meeting because the candidate could not keep more than one guard, as per the directives of the Election Commision of Pakistan.
"We cannot defend ourselves and at the same time the criminals have a free hand," a visibly distraught Ali Musa told the media.
He said elections would not take place in Multan if his brother was not rescued from his kidnappers. Ali Musa also confirmed that his family was receiving threats from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
On Thursday evening, Yousaf Raza Gilani talked to the media and advised his party workers to continue the campaign. "They want us to withdraw from the elections and this is what we will not do," he said.
The TTP called media houses later in the day and informed that they were not behind the kidnapping.