Islamabad June 21, 2016: Former President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed deep concern over the kidnapping of the high court lawyer Awais Ali Shah son of the Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah in Karachi on Monday and demanded safe recovery of the kidnapped lawyers, thorough probe into the matter and exposing and punishing “the planners, perpetrators and executioners of this heinous crime as well as their backers”.
While condemning this heinous crime I also urge that the conversation on the kidnappings be enlarged so as to also take into account the circumstances and reasons behind the kidnapping of high profile and high value targets in addition to the usual criminality of kidnappings for ransom in the country, he said in a statement today.
Over five years ago Shabaz Taseer son of former Governor Punjab Salman Taseer was kidnapped by unknown assailants under mysterious circumstances. He was released after five years of captivity in March this year, the former President recalled. There is deafening silence in the wake of his kidnapping and recovery.
On the eve of 2013 general elections Ali Haider Gillani son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani was kidnapped and was released after over three years of captivity in May this year. Reportedly Gillani was in the custody of kidnappers in a district in Punjab for several months before he was transferred to Waziristan. The ease and impunity with which the criminals accomplished their goal has raised questions about the reach, resources and influence of the kidnappers and their backers as well as their motives. There is deafening silence in the wake of this kidnapping too.
Now another high profile, high value kidnapping has taken place by the kidnapping of the son of the sitting chief justice of the SHC.
While we must seek safe and urgent recovery of Advocate Awais Ali Shah from the kidnappers we should also broaden the discourse by seeking answers to several unanswered questions that have been thrown up in the wake of earlier kidnappings of high value targets, he said.