KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. special operations forces and Afghan commandos today rescued Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, during a partnered raid in the Giyan district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province, U.S. Forces Afghanistan officials said. He had been held hostage since he was kidnapped three years ago in Pakistan.
Under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel authority, the counterterror mission was planned and launched after evidence of terrorist activity was confirmed, officials said in a statement announcing the rescue.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter commended U.S. and Afghan special operations personnel and the Afghan special operations forces for the professionalism and skill they demonstrated today in the operation.
“We will work with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to return him home safely after he receives a medical evaluation,” the defense secretary said.
The raid demonstrates the growing capabilities and effectiveness of the Afghan security forces and is an excellent example of the strong security and intelligence partnership between Afghan and U.S. forces under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, he added.
“Working alongside our Afghan partners, we will continue to make it clear that there is no safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan,” Carter said.
Four enemy combatants were killed as a result of the operation, officials said, and no other injuries or damage was observed or reported.