KARACHI - The two missing aides of former president Asif Ali Zardari were recovered safely from the captivity of kidnappers during a joint action in Balochistan.

"A special cell of Karachi police – Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) - with active support of intelligence agencies have recovered two high profile abductees including Ashfaq Leghari and Ghulam Qadir Mari from Turbat area of Balochistan," AVCC chief SSP Tariq Dharejo told media. The kidnappees were abducted from Karachi and Jamshoro, Sindh.

"The agencies helped in tracking, cornering of the kidnapers and after hard negotiations the kidnapees were freed," Dharejo explained.

The abductees, who were initially in custody of AVCC, were later let go after completion of legal formalities. 

SSP Dharejo said that in case of Ashfaq Leghari ransom call was received, adding that with the help of agencies, leads were found out from the call generated and further focusing the target group. “Support of intelligence agencies of Balochistan were vital in solving the case.”

Two drivers and a gunman of Mari were also recovered. However, no arrest was made so far in the case.

Mari, a landlord from Tando Allahyar, went missing when he was travelling from Sehwan to Hyderabad along with his guard and a driver. While Leghari, the former chief of the Sindh People’s Students Federation, went missing from Gadap Town Karachi.

Meanwhile, convener of the campaign, Agha Tanveer Iqbal confirmed the release. "It is with the greatest relief, and thankful happiness that we announce the release and recovery of Rais Gulham Mari Khan from ‘kidnappers’ in Baloochistan, we are thankful to almighty Allah that Mari Khan has returned safely to us," he said.

"We would like to thank all those who were directly responsible for the safe return of Mari Khan including the police and intelligence agencies in Pakistan."

Zardari's friends went missing from different parts of Sindh last month sending the Pakistan People’s Party into panic mode and triggering fears that it was an attempt to target the PPP leadership, particularly Zardari. 

Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was alleged by Zardari in multiple addresses including those at rallies of having his friends abducted. 

Sindh High Court had recently ordered to form a joint investigation team over the non-recovery of Zardari's aides.