Late Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's son Shahbaz Taseer has returned home safely after four years, six months and 12 days (1,652 days in all).
He was abducted from his office in Lahore's Gulberg locality on August 26, 2011, seven months and 22 days after his father Salman Taseer was killed by his own bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad on January 4, 2011.
Shahbaz had married Maheen, a psychologist in 2010. Life in captivity must have been difficult, but for now everyone considers him lucky for becoming a free man again.
One hopes that former Pakistani premier Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Haider Gilani also returns home anytime soon. Ali Haider was kidnapped by several armed men in Multan on May 9, 2013 during an election rally.
Shahbaz has joined the list of some high-profile personalities who were either rescued by state forces or were somehow released by their abductors.
An American General James Lee Dozier, who was working for Nato in Italy was kidnapped with his wife on December 17, 1981 by a Marxist terrorist group. The couple was rescued by Italian forces on January 28, 1982. The group was kidnapping and killing politicians and businessmen as part of its war against the state. Had it not been for a brave rescue operation where Dozier was found in a tent, he would have met the same fate as the Italian Prime Minister who was killed by the rebel group in 1978.
A Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, was kidnapped by a rebel group, in February 2002 and held captive until 2008. She was rescued by the Colombian security forces.
Late Held Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's daughter Rubaiya Sayeed was kidnapped by members of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front on December 8, 1989 in Jammu and Kashmir. At that time, Mufti Sayeed was the home minister of India in the VP Singh government. The kidnappers had demanded the release of five of their comrades; the government accepted their demands and freed the jailed terrorists. Rubaiya was kidnapped within five days of her father becoming the Indian minister for home affairs.
-- Originally published in The News