MULTAN: Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said some people thought he hid his own son Ali Haider Gilani, while others said he paid Rs750 million as ransom for his release.
He said this while addressing locals who had gathered to welcome him and his recovered son, who reached his hometown with his father from Lahore on Tuesday. A large number of PPP workers and people from various walks of life had gathered to welcome Ali Haider.
“Ali Haider has been recovered in a US army operation. How is it possible that I paid ransom for his release?” he questioned.
He said after being abducted from Multan, his son was shifted to Afghanistan. He also said Hilary Clinton and other US officials congratulated him on the recovery of his son.
“I would like to thank the American and Afghan forces for their role in the recovery of my son,” he added.
The former premier said he had very little hope for the recovery of his son, but is thankful to God for this day. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also congratulated him and offered help if needed.
He further said his party had always struggled for the supremacy of parliament.
“I am happy that the prime minister went to parliament and asked the National Assembly speaker to form a committee for the preparation of terms of reference on Panamagate,” he said.
He said he was also pleased that Imran Khan and other opposition politicians had gone to parliament. He added they were ready to cooperate for the eradication of corruption.
Ali Haider thanked God for granting patience to him during his years in captivity.
“I would not have been here if I had lost my faith, patience and hope. From where I have come back, it was easy to die instead of living,” he added.
He said he was thankful to the US and Afghan forces and intelligence agencies of Pakistan as he was recovered with their joint efforts.
“I want to give a message to those who shattered peace of this country that my father’s name is Yousaf Raza Gilani and my name is Ali Haider Gilani and we did not learn to fear,” he said.
Paying tribute to his late secretary Mohiuddin who lost his life while resisting the May 2013 abduction, Ali Haider said he was back because of the sacrifices of his late secretary and his family.
“Mohiuddin sacrificed his life while protecting me and I will never forget that,” he said.
He thanked the people who had come to welcome him and those who prayed for his safe recovery.