Lahore: The Punjabi Taliban is believed to be behind the kidnapping of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider, officials said on Thursday. "A Punjabi Taliban group based in Mian Chanu, 80 km from Multan district, is believed to be involved in the kidnapping of Ali Haider Gilani," a source in Punjab Police said.
Earlier in the day, gunmen kidnapped Ali Haider in Multan district, 350 km from Lahore, while he was campaigning for the May 11 General Election. Ali Haider, 27, is contesting polls from the Punjab Assembly as a candidate of the Pakistan's Peoples Party.
The gunmen shot and killed Ali's Haider's personal secretary and a bodyguard. Several persons were injured by the gunmen, who bundled Ali Haider into a car and sped off.
The PPP criticised the Punjab government for not taking action against the Punjabi Taliban holed up in the southern part of Punjab. Law enforcement agencies are yet to trace Ali Haider.
The Punjabi Taliban have close links to the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a notorious group that has carried out a string of deadly attacks against Shias in 2013. Over 200 Hazara Shias were killed in two devastating attacks by the LeJ in the southwestern city of Quetta earlier in 2013.