Pakistani security agents on Tuesday rescued the kidnapped son of a governor who was assassinated by his bodyguard after speaking out against the country's controversial blasphemy laws.
The agents found 33-year-old Shahbaz Taseer in a room behind a hotel in the Kuchlak area near Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's restive Baluchistan province near the Afghan border.
He was abducted in August 2011, months after his father, Governor Salman Taseer, was shot to death by bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri, because the elder Taseer had spoken out in support of a Christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy. Governor Taseer had called for the laws that mandate the death penalty for insulting Islam be revised; but after his death, religious hardliners threatened his family multiple times.
Qadri was convicted in 2011 of the killing and hanged a week ago. His execution triggered protests in several cities. Tens of thousands of people attended his funeral in Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, a group affiliated with the Pakistani Taliban and calling itself Jamat-ul-Ahrar, has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing Monday that killed 17 people outside a courthouse in the northwestern city of Shabqadar. The group said it carried out the attack in revenge for Qadri's hanging.