Sahil Saeed’s Recovery – Spotlight should now Focus on Local Kidnapping Victims

Along with most people, I was glad to hear that young Sahil Saaed had been safely recovered. What a relief! Finally some good news to lift our spirits!

However, in the aftermath of Sahil’s rescue more questions are being raised. For one his kidnapping has shed light to the awful spectre of child kidnappings that plague in our country. It has, more importantly, shed light on the states indifference to kidnappings and the lack of support available to victims.

Disclaimer: Before I continue I would like to this opportunity to clearly recognize that while the country faces many security challenges in the face of terror threats across the country, it may be unfair to expect much from an over stretched, under paid, poorly trained, under staffed and poorly resourced police force.

Let’s continue, Rana Sanaullah, the erstwhile Punjab law minister if not embroiled in enough controversy has apparently put his foot in his mouth once again. He is quoted as saying that: there had never been so much government effort put into a kidnappings case. He said Pakistani intelligence was also involved in the boy’s recovery. What does that say of our society and government at large? Does a crime have to make world headlines before security agencies take note and spurned to act? Or is this a question of the relationship between our political masters and wider society?

I for one see this as evidence of, rather disappointingly of what I already have known all along. Our powers to be treat their citizens with the contempt of second class citizens, a passing inconvenience. For those who are local victims of kidnappings, the media attention that the disappearance of Sahil created is the equivalent of pouring salt on an open wound.

Just such a victim is Ali who remarks, “Our rulers don’t consider the children of Pakistani citizen’s human beings. They don’t act promptly as they do if a foreigner goes missing,” He continues, “But if a child with another nationality gets kidnapped in Pakistan then they do the maximum and even visit their homes,”

Similarly, another distraught mother who unfortunately unlike Sahils mother does not hold a British passport, cannot count on consular support or the local media’s coverage of her child’s kidnapping, remarked standing at the home of Sahil’s relatives in Jhelum: “This shows the difference between rich and poor. No one even came to my house to console me… Everything is done here for the rich and the British but nothing for Pakistanis and the poor,”

Given the way Sahil Saeeds kidnapping unfolded, an important point to note is that once mobilized our security establishment seems able to retrieve kidnapped victims. Police commanders can be empathetic and sympathetic to victims. As the head police official of Jhelum district commented to a BBC reporter, “I feel the pain of a childs kidnapping, I after all have two children myself.”

This ordeal has at the very least given us evidence of the fact that given the “right” circumstances not only are our officials able to empathetically share the grief of victims, working with intelligence agencies they are actually able to recover kidnapped victims.

So it seems that our police force coupled with support from “intelligence agencies” is able to overcome its shortcomings. That is its existence as an over stretched, under paid, poorly trained, under staffed and poorly resourced police force.

As a police force it must be encouraged to share these newly discovered values with the rest of the Pakistani citizenry. The Government should commit itself to the high standards that it has displayed in this instance and use it as a benchmark for tackling future kidnapping cases. The media may want to give as much attention to victims who do not happen to hold a foreign passport and we as citizens should perhaps develop some empathy with our fellow citizens who face such ordeals and offer support.

While Ali and the distraught mother mentioned in this article have both highlighted their grievances, we naturally blame the government for its apathy. This apathy will not be magically overcome by a benevolent change of heart amongst our political leaders and security heads. The citizenry must offer overwhelming support to victims and generate unrelenting pressure on the state to act!



, , , ,



9 responses to “Sahil Saeed’s Recovery – Spotlight should now Focus on Local Kidnapping Victims”

  1. Nazia Avatar

    This is little example that why people are dying for blue and red passports.

    They are not born here but British treat them as their own first class citizen.

    Here Drones are daily killings our people neither we are recognizing drones flying from our bases and airspace nor considering them as normal humans.

    For living under the secure govt our people yearn for foreign passport.

    The mismatch personalities of sahil parents are quite obvious but people are so desperate of such kind of living that they are willing to take such risks.

    So they got back their child back and safe.

    In our 80% cases mostly done by close associate of child, either the child is killed by abductors in fear of recognition or parents and police cant approach kidnappers due to improper training/handling in this area.

    So bus nam hay Allah ka for people of Pakistan so take care of your kids and belonging on your own basis and if something happened like this follow rule no 1 in Pakistan for normal survival and it is


  2. Taha Avatar

    This is really sad. I feel shame for being as a Pakistani. My heart goes with the mother

  3. khalid humayun Avatar

    Kidnapped – recovered – viva Punjab Police. It is not that simple. This article is not complete until this postlogue is added.

    It was the efforts of Greater Manchester Police and Spanish Police in liaison with Pakistani Intelligence. Sahil's father was not satisfied with the efforts of Punjab Police, and it looks he knew or got contact with the real culprits who demanded 1000,000 sterling pound as ransom for release of Sahil. He, therefore, flew over from Pakistan to UK and contacted Mancheser Police for help. Trap was set, as soon as the ransom was paid, at the request of British Police, Spanish Police tailed the culprits and arrested two Pakistani men and one Romanian woman. It is said that large amount of ransom money has also been receovered.

    As for Punjab Police, they have yet to arrest those local culprits who were instumental at the behest of International Kidnappers.

    1. Nadir El Edroos Avatar
      Nadir El Edroos

      Completely agree..that is more the reason why the state and all those claiming success should be put on the spot..if they want to give the impression of acting swiftly and contributing to the success of have having a child released from captivity they should be able to replicate it for the benefit of domestic victims

    2. Aamir Mughal Avatar

      Arrests made in Spain, France Thursday, March 18, 2010

      Ransom paid in Paris for kidnapped UK boy: Madrid MADRID: A ransom for a five-year-old British boy kidnapped in Pakistan and freed this week was paid in Paris, Spain’s interior ministry said on Wednesday, adding five people had been detained.

  4. readinglord Avatar


    Well-said dear! The problem is we fail in every job because of 'Inshaallah', the shibolith we repeat so often to involve Allah's approval in every job we undertake only to shun our duty to do it. For instance they would say,"We would do justice, Inshaallah" as though Allah's approval is needed even for doing justice. In fact their trick is to throw the people in, what they call in Punjabi, 'Bhumblebhoosey' by their absurdism. If the people are killed or murdered they would say,"They have gone to heaven". But they would promptly announce paying a fat compensation to their 'pasmaandgaan' from public money

    'keeping there 10%' perhaps. You may ask,"Why compensation for going to heaven'. Perhaps to assuage those who failed to go to heaven. What an absurdism!

  5. Nadir El Edroos Avatar
    Nadir El Edroos

    If only Pakistani children could have such privilege's.

  6. Nadia Talha Avatar
    Nadia Talha

    I don't agree with readinglord… We need His will for everything we do even if we say "we would do justice" cuz you never know if justice is being done or injustice to someone..(the case of Dr. Afia is a an example: to Americans its justice done & to many of us it's not) We aint the judge for that but He is cuz He knows what we all reveal & what we conceal…

    Saying InshaAllah doesn't mean we escaping our responsibility towards a certain job or situation cuz there are many other ways & excuses for getting an easy way out or running away for that matter.

  7. Brandon Scott Avatar

    sinusitis gives me headaches and stuffiness that i hate so much,.-