July 20, 2016 – The army announced on Tuesday that the son of a powerful Pakistani judge, who was kidnapped and went missing for a month, was found hidden under a burqa while his abductors tried to sneak him across a border to Afghanistan.
Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa, Pakistani Army spokesman, said Awais Shah was discovered gagged and bound in a back of an SUV right after a firefight at around 2am local time (5pm ET Monday) in the lawless northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Bajwa told the media in Rawalpindi that a splinter group Taliban-al was behind the kidnapping and they had been trying to take Awais Shah across the border to Afghanistan.
According to Bajwa, three kidnappers had been tracked for 3 days and were killed when they sped by a checkpoint after midnight near Tank City.
When the soldiers got closer to the SUV, they saw a person that appeared to be a woman and wearing a burqa. According to Bajwa, the soldiers took off the burqa and found out that it was a man and with his mouth taped shut. As soon as they took off the tape, the man claimed to be the son of the chief justice, and his name is Awais Shah.
The father of Awais Shah is Sajjad Ali Shah, Sind High Court Chief Justice who serves in the largest city of Pakistan – Karachi.
Awais Shah was kidnapped on 20th of June from Clifton’s upscale suburb in Karachi. Since a massive effort to find him keeps on failing, the government announced to give a $100,000 bounty for any information leading to his immediate rescue.
Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah told the media after reuniting with his son at Karachi military airport that all credit goes to the Army. According to him, he had no idea who was behind the kidnapping and all he knows is that his son is back.
The kidnapping and rescue of Awais Shah follows a number of similar abductions in the region.
On May 10, the son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Haider Gilani, was freed in a joint US-Afghan operation 3 years in captivity.