Former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani received a phone call of his son, who was kidnapped on May 9, 2013 during an election rally in Multan, from an undisclosed place on Sunday.

“Yes, Mr Gillani received a phone call of his kidnapped son Syed Ali Haider Gilani, who told him that he is safe and fine,” Shakir Hussain Shakir, a close aide to Gillani, confirmed while talking to this scribe. Unidentified armed persons had kidnapped Syed Ali Haider Gilani. The ex-PM received the call when he was attending Qul Khawani of a cleric, Allama Fateh Muhammad Qadri in Jalalpur Pirwala. The phone call is being seen as an output of Zardari-Gillani May 7 visit to Afghanistan.

Talking to his father, Ali Haider said that earlier he was kept at a place where frequent drone attacks took place but now he was shifted to a safer place. He also talked to former foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi who was sitting beside Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani.

Qureshi also confirmed talking to Ali Haider Gillani. “He told me that he is happy and at a safe place,” Shah Mahmood told the journalists. “May Allah help me to see my family soon,” Qureshi quoted Ali Haider as saying.

EARLY END TO S PUNJAB’S DEPRIVATIONS VOWED: Punjab Governor Malik Rafiq Rajwana has said that the differences on Pak-China Economic Corridor project will be settled very soon, adding that the deprivations of South Punjab would be removed soon.

He said that the project was the future of the upcoming generation and all the four provinces of the country. Talking to journalists and delegations of PML-N workers here on Sunday, he disclosed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had called an all parties conference on May 28 to ponder over all the problems being faced by the country and to settle all controversial issues. He added, “We have to give the nation a message that we have spoiled a lot of precious time on the politics of break and burn. Now, the nation and country need progress and prosperity. We need to move forward while setting all the differences aside,” he added.

He said that the country would make historic progress with $46 billion agreements signed with China. He said that the prime minister wanted to uproot terrorism from the country and therefore operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched.

He said that he still had the same viewpoint on new provinces that he held before becoming governor, adding that the PML-N had got approved two resolutions on this topic. He said that he was aware of every single problem being faced by the South Punjab region and development projects would be launched on priority basis in Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur divisions.

He declared that the deprivations of South Punjab would be removed very soon as the prime minister and the chief minister wanted to bring this area on par with all the other developed areas.

He said that he had convened a meeting on Monday to discuss evelopment projects in education, health, infrastructure and other sectors. He told the journalists that Rs25 billion funds were being spent on villages currently and this amount would be risen up to Rs150 billion by 2018.

To a question on future of PTI in view of its recent defeats in by elections, the governor said that he was not a fortune teller to tell the future of PTI. “It’s PTI people who can tell you about their future,” he added.

The governor assured the journalists that all obstacles in way of journalist colony would be removed. Earlier, the governor also visited Nishtar Hospital and inquired after the health of children injured in school roof collapse. He directed the hospital administration to provide health facilities to the children.