The son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly been kidnapped during a campaign rally in his hometown of Multan.
Ali Haider Gilani was taken during a gunfire at the rally, which apparently killed his personal secretary and injured others.
“People came on a motorbike. They also had a car with them and they opened fire and abducted Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Haider in a black Honda,” police officer Khurram Shakur said.
He is running from two constituencies – NA-151 and NA-152 – as an independent candidate, but is a member of the Pakistan People’s Party which completed its five years in government.
“There is a war going on between pro- and anti-Taliban forces in this country. They have captured the son of our leader. We are saddened by this and praying that he is safely recovered,” Rehman Malik, the former interior minister and a PPP leader said.
Ali Musa, elder brother of Ali Haider, said: “We want our brother back tonight. If we don’t get him, we will not allow elections to be held in our area.”
Saturday’s vote will be a democratic milestone in a country ruled for half its history by the military but the campaign has been marred by Taliban threats and attacks against mostly secular parties which have killed more than 110 people since mid-April.
The Pakistani Taliban has said they have dispatched suicide bombers to mount attacks on polling day on Saturday, but there was no claim of responsibility for the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani.