Saturday 22 July 2017

Mum pleads for safe return of son

Kim Pilling

The mother of a British boy held captive in Pakistan said yesterday she forgave the kidnappers as she made an emotional plea for the safe return of her son.

Police in the Punjab region of the country were continuing to question several men about the abduction, but there was no sign of an imminent rescue of five-year-old Sahil Saeed as of yesterday.

Sahil was grabbed by gun and grenade-wielding raiders on Thursday from his grandmother's house. They were said to have demanded a £100,000 (€111,000) ransom.

Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani called Sahil's father to assure him they have the full support of his government.

His mother, Akila Naqqash, made a direct appeal to the abductors from the family home in Oldham, Greater Manchester, to end their ordeal and let her son go.

The British foreign office echoed that appeal and said its high commission in Islamabad was in regular contact with the police officer leading the investigation.

In a message to the kidnappers, Ms Naqqash, 31, said: "I just want my son back. All is forgiven, I will forgive you.

"You may have children yourself. I forgive you."

The tearful mother said the family were still nervously awaiting updates from Pakistan where her husband, Raja Naqqash Saeed, received assurances from the country's prime minister that they were making every effort to recover the boy.

Sky News sources said Mr Naqqash Saeed spoke to the kidnappers on the phone yesterday and was told "the boy is with us and we will call you later".

Sunday Independent

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