Shahbaz Taseer Son of Slain Governor Released from Taliban Captivity

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Shahbaz Taseer, son of slain governor Punjab Salman Taseer, was released with concerted efforts of law enforcers in Kuchlak area of Balochistan on Tuesday.

Aitzaz Goraya, head of the Counter-Terrorism Department of Balochistan province told AFP: “Yes, we have recovered him.”

“Acting on a tip-off, intelligence forces and police went to a compound in the Kuchlak district some 25 kilometres north of Quetta,” Goraya added.

“We surrounded the compound and raided it. We didn’t find anyone. A single person was there and he told us my name is Shahbaz and my father’s name is Salmaan Taseer.”

Goraya described Taseer, who is in his early thirties, as being in “feeble” health.

Anwarul Haq Kakar, spokesperson for the Balochistan government, told a private TV news channel: “I can confirm that Shahbaz Taseer has been safely recovered. He is in safe hands.”

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar also confirmed the recovery during a Senate session.

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He was abducted from the Gulberg area of Lahore on August 26, 2011.

Shahbaz left his house from Cavalry Ground in his silver Mercedes Kompressor (LZT-1) for his office around 10:15am.

His car was intercepted by a black SUV and motorbike around 600 yards from the office and up to three men dragged Taseer out of the car and took him away.

Shahbaz’s father-in-law Salman Ghani also confirmed his freedom, but did not give any details.

A second militant source said the Taliban had been demanding up to Rs2 billion for his release.

Security analyst Imtiaz Gul said it was possible a ransom had been paid and Shahbaz had been abandoned by his abductors once they received the money.