The kidnapped son of slain Pakistani governor Salman Taseer was not released after a rescue operation by security forces and it remains unclear as to why he was freed by militants after nearly five years of captivity, a probe said today. Shahbaz Taseer, 33, was flown to Lahore from Quetta in a special aircraft from the restive Balochistan province on Tuesday.
Interior minister Nisar Ali Khan had set up a committee to probe the circumstances surrounding the freedom of Shahbaz, who was set free this week and several security agencies claimed their involvement in a “successful operation” to release him from kidnappers.
“The facts and evidence show that Shahbaz Taseer was not released through an operation by security forces but set free by the captors,” interior ministry said in a statement after the conclusion of the probe.
The report said it was not clear why the kidnappers set him free or if they were paid ransom. It said no one is allowed to use the issue to link it with their performance.
“Those involved in using it for personal advancement will be sternly warned,” it said.
But the spokesman for the Baluchistan government, Anwar ul Haq Kakar said that Shahbaz was recovered after an operation by security forces in the Kuchluk area on basis of intelligence reports.
“We don’t know why the interior ministry is saying he was released by the kidnappers. We stand by our official statement that an operation was carried out by security forces and when they raided a safe house in Kuchlak Shahbaz Taseer identified himself to the forces,” Kakar said.
He said it was a successful operation since Kuchlak is a heavily Taliban influenced area. Nisar had ordered an inquiry into the whole incident soon after Shahbaz was recovered.
Shahbaz was kidnapped from the Gulberg area of Lahore from near his office on August 26, 2011 and since than it was feared he was held captive by different militant groups.
He was kidnapped soon after his liberal politician father was assassinated by radical Mumtaz Qadri in January, 2011, due to his stance on the controversial blasphemy law.