A British boy kidnapped from his family’s home in Pakistan has yet to be found, British and Pakistani officials said on Thursday, following erroneous news of his release which one Pakistani diplomat here said was the result of mistaken identity.
Sahil Saeed was snatched from his grandmother’s house in Pakistan’s Jehlum city last week after robbers held the family at gunpoint for several hours, officials say.
Reports in Pakistan early on Thursday suggested that the five—year—old boy had been freed, news which was confirmed by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to London, Wajid Hasan.
But Mr. Hasan later told British broadcasters that a boy in an unrelated case was the one released.
“It was a case of mistaken identity,” Mr. Hasan told Sky News television. “There was a boy from (the Pakistan city of) Rawalpindi who was missing, and he was recovered, not Sahil Saeed.”
Britain’s Foreign Office said it had confirmation from officials in Pakistan that Sahil had not been released.
Sahil’s grandfather Raja Mohammed Basharat, told the AP he had no news one way or the other.
“The government has not given any information to us about the recovery of Sahil,” he said.
Mr. Basharat said he had also lost contact with his son Raja Naqqash Saeed. British media reports said he had left for the U.K., although Mr. Hasan denied that, saying he was still in Pakistan.
“I don’t know where is my son, as I have no contact with him for the past four days,” he said.
Pakistani officials - including Mr. Hasan - have suggested that the kidnapping was an “inside job” possibly involving members of the boy’s family.