ISLAMABAD - The federal government yesterday said the captors of Shahbaz Taseer , the son of slain Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, set him free on their own and security forces did not carry out any operation for his recovery.

"The facts and evidences show that Shahbaz was not rescued as the result of an operation but his captors set him free on their own," the interior ministry said this in a statement.

The statement came following an inquiry committee headed by special secretary interior submitted its report to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in this regard.

"It is premature to say whether Shahbaz was set free after the payment of ransom money or without it," the ministry said.

“No person or institution has the right to link this recovery with his/its performance," it added. The ministry also warned the relevant police officers who had misreported about the release.

Shahbaz Taseer , earlier this week, was found in a hotel in the outskirts of Kuchlak area near Quetta after remaining in the custody of his kidnappers for around five years.

The interior minister in a Senate briefing at that time confirmed his recovery while quoting a report of Balochistan Inspector General of Police (IGP) saying that he was recovered as a result of an operation by security forces. Later conflicting reports came about his recovery that compelled the minister to form an inquiry committee.

Separately, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has contacted Sarfraz Merchant, an accused in money laundering case against MQM leadership in UK, and disgruntled MQM leader Mustafa Kamal.

FIA is probing allegation of money laundering, involvement in criminal activities and having links with Indian spy agency against Muttahida Qaumi Movement as mandated by the interior ministry.

The official sources in the interior ministry informed that FIA Karachi Director Shahid Hayat contacted Mustafa Kamal and asked him to share proofs of allegations he had levelled against MQM in his press conference, with the agency. Kamal agreed to give his input; the sources said and added that his meeting with the FIA officials was expected in the next 24 hours.

Similarly, FIA Islamabad Director Inam Ghani contacted Sarfraz Merchant and asked him to give his statement and share proofs of money laundering against MQM leadership. Merchant in a TV interview had levelled allegation of money laundering against MQM. Inam invited Merchant, who is living in London, to come Pakistan. In response, he said that he would give a reply by Monday after consulting his legal aides.

HOPE CAN SET YOU FREE: SHAHBAZ TASEER

INP adds: Shahbaz Taseer said yesterday that fear could imprison anybody and hope could set anybody free.

In a message on social networking site Twitter, Shahbaz Taseer said, “Fear and fright can make you a prisoner whereas having hope can set you free.”

He further said that he felt ecstasy and amusement on returning to home.

Shahbaz was kidnapped on August 26, 2011 and was reunited with his family members after almost five years.

Taseer had been abducted by gunmen from Lahore in August 2011, months after his father Salmaan Taseer was killed for opposing the country‘s blasphemy laws and was recovered after almost five years, just over a week after his father’s killer was hanged.

Phone call by Taseer family

kick-started 'raid' to rescue Shahbaz: Balochistan govt

Monitoring Desk adds: Balochistan government spokesperson Anwarul Haq Kakar on Saturday claimed that law enforcers who rescued Shahbaz Taseer knew about his whereabouts after an intelligence agency asked the provincial law-enforcement authorities to conduct a 'raid'.

Talking to a private TV channel, Kakar claimed that the Taseer family had informed an intelligence agency after receiving a call from Shahbaz, after he was set free by his kidnappers.

The intelligence agency in turn informed Frontier Corps (FC) and Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel to conduct a 'raid' and rescue him.

Kakar maintained that he praised the FC and CTD personnel in his statement issued due to their untiring efforts in the war against terrorism, adding that they deserved credit as 'they were not sent to Centaurus Mall, but to a location where terrorists might have attacked them'.

"We were not claiming credit for ourselves or law enforcers," clarified Kakar.

The spokesperson explained that he passed on the information 'as it was' to satisfy the media.

He elaborated that the provincial government's 'sole fault' was that it rejoiced over the news of Shahbaz's release as his abduction had tarnished country's image.