Al-Qaeda demanded Zawahiri’s family release in exchange of my release, Ali Gilani

MULTAN: Al Qaeda demanded to release the women of Aimen Al Zawahiri family, says son of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Ali Haider Gilani who was kidnapped in 2013 and has been recently recovered from Afghanistan after three years.  

In an exclusive interview to BBC Urdu, Gilani said that he had been abducted during election campaign back in 2013. He was taken to Faisalabad through Multan to Khanewal road where he was captivated for three months.

He was in Al- Qaeda’s captivity for three years and an important member (Zia) stayed with him till three years, said Gilani.

“Al Qaeda demanded to release women of Al-Zawahiri family along with heavy amount of money in exchange of my release”, said Gilani.

On 22 July 2013 he was taken to Waziristan through Bannu motorway but no one checked them during their journey, said Gilani.

He stayed in Waziristan for seven months. Most of the abductors used to communicate in Punjabi. Abductors told him that  he is kidnapped because he is the ‘son of Yusuf Raza Gilani’.

Due to operations in Shawwal and Datta Khel, he was transferred to Afghanistan where he was captivated in a compound. During a joint operation of Afghan and American forces on May 9th, he was recovered from captivity.

He said forces did not recognized him at beginning but later after investigation he was told he will be going home. During captivity he talked to his family twice.

It is pertinent to mention that Ali Haider Gilani was running for seat of provincial assembly. He was kidnapped on May 9, 2013 while he was running campaign.