Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was rescued on Monday by a joint force of Afghan and US commandos, thanked his rescuers after being brought by helicopter to the Afghan defence ministry.
Ali Gilani, with long hair and a grey-streaked beard, told reports in Kabul, “I really appreciate the Afghan government’s efforts and the Afghan forces’ efforts for someone, these sacrifices, for someone from another country.”
“That shows the efforts of the Afghan government to bringing peace in the region,” he said.
“I would also like to thank US forces which, at the critical moments of my release provided me with shelter, food and medical care,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to being reunited with my family and just getting back to normal life.”
Ali Haider Gilani was abducted outside an office of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in his hometown of Multan on May 9, 2013, two days before an election.
His rescue occurred partly by chance, as Afghan and US Special Forces raided the suspected al Qaeda compound.
The force had an “inkling” a hostage was being held there but was not aware it was Gilani, said Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, spokesman for the NATO-led force.
He said four al Qaeda fighters were killed in the raid. Gilani was with his captors but was identified as a hostage after he did not try to resist.