Pakistani forces free kidnapped son of late Punjab province governor

Shahbaz Taseer was rescued by Pakistani security forces about five years after he was kidnapped.

Story highlights

  • Shahbaz Taseer was found in Balochistan province, Pakistan's military says
  • He was kidnapped 8 months after his father, the governor of Punjab province, was assassinated
  • The man who killed the late governor -- who said insulting Islam shouldn't mean death -- was hailed as a hero

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN)Pakistan security forces on Tuesday rescued Shahbaz Taseer, who was kidnapped in 2011 eight months after his father, the governor of Punjab, was assassinated.

The Pakistani military said in a statement that Taseer was found around Kuchlak, a town in western Pakistan in Balochistan province.
    On August 26, 2011, militants abducted him from his car on his way to his office in Lahore, senior police official Abdul Razaq Cheema said then. Authorities said Taseer had been provided with 16-member security contingent, but none of those guards were with him when four armed men blocked Taseer's car in Lahore's Gulberg neighborhood and took him.
    Shahbaz Taseer's father, the late Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer, was assassinated in January 2011 after speaking out against a blasphemy law that makes insulting Islam a crime punishable by death.
    Speaking to CNN in 2010, the governor said he didn't want to abolish the law but change it so that insulting "any prophet, no matter who he is ... is a criminal offense ... not punishable by death."
    The man who killed Salman Taseer -- Mumtaz Qadri, his former bodyguard -- was treated like a hero afterward, with supporters showering him with rose petals and putting a garland around his neck.
    Late last month, these backers turned out en masse on the streets of Rawalpindi after Qadri was hanged at a jail in that Punjab province city just south of Islamabad.
    It was not clear whether anyone was detained, wounded or killed in the process of rescuing Shahbaz Taseer.