Terrorists kidnapped the youngest son of former Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the central city of Multan as he campaigned ahead of a May 11 general election.
Ali Haider Gilani was taken after gunmen stormed a public meeting he was attending and opened fire, Multan chief police officer Mehmood Dogar said in comments run on local television. “This is a terrorist act. We have shut the city down to track the car the kidnappers used to take Ali Haider away.”
Ali Haider is running as a candidate in the parliamentary elections, his brother Musa Gilani said in televised comments. Ali Haider’s secretary was killed in the attack, state-run Pakistan Television reported.
President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party, of which the Gilanis are members, had curtailed campaigning after its leaders received threats from militant groups. The Peoples Party had largely limited campaigning to advertisements.
Yousuf Raza Gilani was removed as prime minister in April 2012 by the Supreme Court after he failed to follow the court’s orders to pursue Switzerland-based graft cases against Zardari. Gilani was replaced with Raja Pervez Ashraf under whom the civilian government became the first to serve a full five-year term.
At least 118 people have been killed and 494 injured since election-related violence began last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with members of the Peoples Party, Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement targeted in their constituencies.