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Top Pakistani judge’s son rescued from militants

world Updated: Jul 20, 2016 00:57 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Awais Ali Shah

Awais Ali Shah (right) speaks to journalists in Karachi with his father Sajjad Ali Shah, chief justice of Sindh high court, after he was rescued from his kidnappers on Tuesday. In a pre-dawn operation near the tribal region, the Pakistan Army and paramilitary troops Awais Ali Shah, who was kidnapped last month in southern Sindh province by a splinter group of the Taliban.(AP)

The son of a Pakistani high court chief justice, who was kidnapped from a busy Karachi street in June, was rescued by the army during an operation close to the tribal areas early on Tuesday.

Awais Ali Shah was recovered from the “custody of terrorists” during the intelligence-based operation near Tank in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Gen Asim Bajwa, the head of the military’s media arm, said in a tweet.

Three terrorists were killed during the operation, Bajwa said.

Shah, the son of the chief justice of the Sindh high court, was reunited with his family in Karachi at 9.30 am.

“I got a call from Gen Raheel Sharif at 3 am informing me my son has been rescued,” chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah told the media after being reunited with his son. "Gen Raheel told me he was personally monitoring the case and informed me of my son’s safe recovery." 

The chief justice said the Pakistan Army "is the only one to credit for the recovery of my son." Asked whether he knew who was responsible for the kidnapping, he said, "All I know is that my son is back."

Army officials said the driver of the vehicle in which Awais was being transported was shot and died instantly. After the car came to a halt, two assailants emerged from the back and tried to intervene. Troops approached the car and questioned the person inside, who was wearing a burqa and said he was Awais Ali Shah.

Masked men had kidnapped Shah on June 20. He was picked up outside a supermarket in Karachi and it was feared he could be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations to free imprisoned militants.

Earlier this year, Shahbaz Taseer, the son of slain Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, was rescued four years after he was kidnapped by militants in Lahore.

Last month, US and Afghan forces freed Ali Haider Gilani, the son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, three years after gunmen abducted him from Punjab province.