Pakistan police ‘confident’ of British kidnap boy rescue

Police in Pakistan have said they are confident that a five-year-old British boy kidnapped at gunpoint will be returned to his family within hours...

Police in Pakistan have said they are confident that a five-year-old British boy kidnapped at gunpoint will be returned to his family within hours.

Sahil Saeed, 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.

His bewildered mother Akila Naqqash, 31, wept as she pleaded with his abductors, saying: ‘I just want my son back safe.’

BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool said police sources had revealed that officers traced the kidnappers through calls made on mobile phones stolen from Sahil’s family.

Pakistani police investigator Raja Tahir Bashir said: ‘God willing, we will recover the boy very soon. We are doing whatever is possible.’
 
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.

Jane Sheridan, Sahil’s headteacher at Rushcroft primary school, said: ‘Everyone is very worried and we are doing all that we can to support his family.’

Salma Jafar, head of programmes for Save the Children UK in Pakistan, said child kidnapping was a huge problem. She said: ‘Children may be kidnapped for trafficking for child labour or for sexual exploitation, and are also sometimes kidnapped because of family disputes.

‘Kidnapping is a growing phenomenon. The ransom depends on the family’s financial situation. Sometimes, if they cannot pay, it may be months before they are reunited with their son or daughter.’

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