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S Asia Two arrested over boy kidnapped in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Randip Singh, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Randip Singh

    Randip Singh
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    BBC News - Two arrested over boy kidnapped in Pakistan
    Two people "very close" to the men suspected of kidnapping a British boy at gunpoint in Pakistan have been arrested, the BBC has learned.

    A police source in Punjab province said they were confident five-year-old Sahil Saeed would be freed within 24 hours.
    Sahil, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, and his father were at a house in the Punjab city of Jhelum on Wednesday when robbers broke in and seized the boy.



    The attackers are said to have demanded a £100,000 ransom for Sahil's return.



    Meanwhile, the Foreign Office confirmed that one man had been arrested and was being questioned in connection with the kidnapping.
    The boy's father, Raja Saeed, had been in Pakistan for two weeks visiting his mother with Sahil.



    Mr Saeed said they were just about to leave for the airport at 2300 local time (1800 GMT) on Wednesday when four men - armed with guns and a grenade - approached the house.



    Up to 10 family members inside the house were beaten by the intruders during a six-hour ordeal, he said.



    The robbers took items believed to be jewellery and money and fled with the boy. They have demanded a ransom equivalent to £100,000.
    They said they would be back in touch at 0700 GMT, but the boy's father said he had not heard from them.






    Mr Saeed, who has been based in the UK for about seven years, told BBC News he was ready to swap places with his only son.
    "I don't have any money at all," he said. "They can take me if they want - just let my son come back. I am nothing without him."
    And, speaking at the family's home in Oldham, the child's mother, Akila Naqqash, said there was no chance her family would be able to pay the ransom.



    "Sahil is a really quiet child - he's no harm to nobody," she said.
    "Why would they want to take my son? What have we done? We've done nothing wrong. This is a normal holiday. Every family takes a holiday.
    "How is he coping with strangers? Four grown men. I don't know what they are doing to him."



    'Relatively safe'
    Jane Sheridan, head teacher of Rushcroft Primary School, which Sahil attends, said everyone was "deeply concerned" about his welfare and they were doing all they could to support his family.
    Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan described the kidnapping as a "condemnable act" that has caused the Pakistani government concern.



    George Sherriff, a spokesman for the British High Commission in Islamabad, said it was "continually monitoring the situation" and was in touch with Sahil's family.



    The BBC's Aleem Maqbool said officers thought the kidnapping was unlikely to be the result of a family feud or a personal grudge.
    Our correspondent said there were isolated incidents of kidnapping in Pakistan by criminal gangs who wanted to make money, occasionally linked to militant groups.



    However, there was nothing to suggest this was the case in this kidnapping, he added.



    Our correspondent says Jhelum is not in a tribal area and is a relatively safe part of Pakistan, where many British Pakistanis are from.





    Let us all pray a SPN for the boys safe return. God knows what the parents and the boy must be going through.
     
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