Pakistan Observer

Salman Taseer’s son Shahbaz kidnapped

President, PM order immediate recovery, Two suspects arrested, Khosa resents Punjab govt’s attitude, CM to personally monitor investigation

Mian Dawood / Tanvir Siddiqi

Saturday, August 27, 2011 - Lahore/Islamabad—Shahbaz Taseer, son of the late governor Punjab Salman Taseer, Shahbaz Taseer was abducted by uknown gunmen in Gulberg area on Friday morning.

According the details, Shahbaz Taseer had left his house along with his friend from Cavalry Ground in his silver Mercedes Kompressor (LZT-1) for his office around 10:15am but he was kidnapped by armed men while on way.

“After intercepting Shahbaz’s car the armed men beat his friend and took Shahbaz away on their vehicle. His friend immediately informed the police about the incident. Shahbaz was travelling without security.

The kidnappers headed to Firdous Market via Cavalry Flyover, which leads straight to DHA Lahore and the cantonment areas.

On the information, police officials reached the spot and collected evidence from there.

A National Response Center for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) team also visited the office and home and checked Shahbaz Taseer’s car to collect forensic evidence.

A traffic warden deputed on the said area informed police that a black land-cruiser, white corolla and a motorbike sped through the area and made a sharp turn, which resulted in a black Kalashnikov dropping out of one of the cars.

SSP Investigation Lahore Abdul Razzaq told media that two lap tops and a cell phone had been recovered from the Mercedes car of Shahbaz.

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Ahmad Raza Tahir said Shahbaz’s car was intercepted by a black land-cruiser and a motorbike 600 yards from his office. Up to three men dragged Taseer out of the car and took him away.

Shehryar Taseer, brother of the abducted, said that Shabhaz was out with a friend when three or four unidentified people kidnapped him.

“Our family has been receiving threats from the Taliban and extremist groups,” he said, adding they could be behind the abduction.

Official sources said Shahbaz Taseer had some property disputes, receiving threats recently.

No one has claimed responsibility.

After the assassination of Salmaan Taseer in January this year, security guard was given to his family members by the Punjab government, but it was surprising that on Friday no police guard was with Shahbaz when the incident took place. Shahbaz Taseer was travelling without any security. He normally travelled in a silver Prado with Elite force and police guards.

“We had deputed two Elite Force personnel with Shahbaz but today they were not with him and we will investigate it,” Lahore Police chief Ahmed Raza Tahir said.

Police were also retrieving CCTV footage from the area to help with investigations.

One of the guards posted with Shahbaz Taseer was taken into custody and had his weapon seized when police questioned him and he revealed another guard was on leave. He had not left the house with Taseer but had been told to go to the office.

Police officials said the Taseer family had a total of 12 police and five Rangers personnel posted with them.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and ordered law enforcement agencies to secure the immediate release of Shahbaz Taseer.

The Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and IG Punjab have been directed to use all resources and keep the Chief Minister informed of developments in the case. Punjab Chief Minister also phoned Amna Taseer and assured her of his complete support. The CM said he would personally monitor investigation process.

Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik hoped that government of Punjab would leave no stone unturned for safe recovery of Shahbaz Taseer. In a statement, Rehman Malik said he has issued directions to all federal agencies to ensure cooperation and all out efforts in the safe release of Shahbaz Taseer.The Minister said National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) has been asked to immediately coordinate with the Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and FATA administrations while Inspector General of Motorway Police was directed to ensure constant monitoring on all the routes leading to KP. Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) would make sure of its technical support, he added.

On the other hand Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah’s statement created confusion in which he claimed that “terrorist organizations” were involved in Shahbaz’s abduction. Talking to media he said the terrorist organisations operating in South Waziristan tribal region were involved in Shahbaz’s abduction but he failed to prove his statement.

He said that all entry and exit points of Lahore had been sealed.

The law minister claimed that his government would soon recover Shahbaz and an American aid expert who was abducted on August 13 from Lahore’s Model Town area.

He could not reply when asked whether Shahbaz was abducted to pressure the government to free Mumtaz Qadri, the alleged killer of Salman Taseer.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani have directed all the authorities concerned to recover Shahbaz Taseer, the son of deceased Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer.

The President taking notice of the sad incident telephoned the widow of former governor Punjab Salman Taseer and assured her that all out efforts would be made to recover his abducted son. The President assured Amina Taseer that law enforcement agencies had been directed to take all measures for the recovery of Shahbaz Taseer, who was kidnapped by unknown persons in Lahore today.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani directed Inspector General Police (Punjab) to take all measures to recover Shahbaz Taseer, the son of deceased Governor Salman Taseer. The Prime Minister also telephoned the daughter of Salman Taseer, Sherbano and assured that no effort would be spared to recover her brother. Shahbaz Taseer was abducted by unknown persons on Friday in Lahore.

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