Shahbaz Taseer in Pak Talibanís custody: report

Pakistani authorities have established that both Shahbaz Taseer and US national Dr Warren Weinstein are in the custody of a militant faction associated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a Pakistani newspaper has said.

Shahbaz, son of slain former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, was abducted at gunpoint by unknown men in broad daylight from Lahore's Gulburg area on August 26, whereas Weinstein, a development expert from the United States, was abducted on August 13 when unidentified gunmen, posing as neighbours offering food, pistol-whipped him and his driver and tied up his guards before whisking him away.

The Nation quoted 'well-placed sources' as saying that the cases of both high-profile abductions are now being handled by Pakistan's top security and intelligence agencies, which are struggling hard to secure safe and immediate release of the duo.

Attributing to intelligence sources, the paper said that Shahbaz was shifted from Lahore to some safe haven in northwest Pakistan during the Eid holidays, though police remained on 'high-alert' to thwart this move.

According to the paper, sources claimed that Shahbaz was in good health, but they declined to comment when asked about the demands of the abductors.

"It is not appropriate, at this stage, to discuss their (militants) demands," the sources said.

A top police officer told the paper on the condition of anonymity that the investigations into the kidnappings of Shahbaz and Dr Warren were not in local or provincial jurisdiction anymore.

"We have done what we could on our part. Now, it is a national and, to some extent, global issue and those authorities are dealing with the cases who are expert in such matters," the police officer said.

The officer, who is closely monitoring the developments taking place in the abduction cases, confirmed that it has been "established who is behind the high-profile kidnappings.

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