LAHORE - A counter terror official yesterday claimed that the “terrorist” killed in police shooting Saturday night in Punjab’s Sheikhupura district was “actually involved in kidnapping and transporting” Shahbaz Taseer, the son of slain governor Salman Taseer.

The official’s statement follows Taseer’s rebuttal of the counter terrorism department claims that his captor was among the six terrorists killed in the shootout, which took place some 30 kilometers away from Lahore.

“Not true at all they are very credible but this story is false,” Shahbaz Taseer tweeted yesterday while referring to a media report.

Taseer, who spent years in Taliban captivity and was freed in March, took to the twitter and rebutted the media report. Taseer called “careless of Pakistani media channels” for putting his life in danger to break a story that is not true. “None of my kidnappers have been killed.”

“As a matter of fact, I don't know who they killed but my kidnappers had no link to TTP and no other organisation except the IMU was involved.” “And even if they do facilitate them let me be clear in saying none of my kidnappers have been killed.”

Hours later, he ‘deleted’ some of his tweets. One of his followers tweeted “(Shahbaz) took to twitter to deny media reports claiming his captor was killed. Later, deleted 2 of his tweets”.

On the other hand, a counter terror official told The Nation that Shahbaz Taseer had been keeping himself away from such kind of situation. “Even, he never appeared before counter terror officials to record his statement (since he has been freed),” the official said, requesting anonymity.

The official then clarified that three of the six terrorists had been identified. One of them is Haji Muhammad alias Pathan cast Kokikhel Pathan. “He was involved in kidnapping of Shahbaz Taseer. He had purchased the house in his own name in Valencia Town Lahore (House No 163, Block P-1) where Shahbaz Taseer was kept for (a) few days before (his) transportation to FATA.”

This terrorist was actually involved in the kidnapping and transporting of the victim, the official said. According to him, Haji Muhammad was a proclaimed offender who was named in the FIR 1036/11 registered with the Gulberg police station following Taseer’s abduction some five years ago. “He (Haji Muhammad) belonged to TTP and IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), both proscribed organisations.”

According to CTD, another two militants who were killed along with Haji Muhammad during the shootout have also been identified. They are Sajid Khan, son of Sharbat Khan, and Riaz Hussain, son of Sharbat Khan, residents of Kokikhel Jamrud, FATA.

Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped near his company’s head office in Gulberg on Aug 26, 2011. He was driving towards the offices of the First Capital Group off MM Alam Road when he was intercepted by the kidnappers. The abductors, who, according to witnesses, had used a Prado jeep and a motorcycle, had bundled the young Taseer into a four-wheeler and sped away unimpeded.

According to the media report, a CTD team had received information that nine to ten members of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan were present in Sheikhupura and planning an attack on the offices of law enforcement agencies.

At around 12:30am, the CTD team raided a house near the Sheikhupura Bypass. The terrorists tried to flee during the operation but the counter terror operatives started chasing them. They opened fire on the cops who also retaliated. “When the fire was stopped, six terrorists were found shot dead while their other accomplices fled,” according to a spokesman for the Punjab CTD.

The CTD men also seized arms and ammunition, including three Kalashnikov rifles, three pistols, two kilogram explosives, prima cords and a cache of bullets. They took the bodies to a hospital and launched the investigation to ascertain the identity of the dead. Separately, the police launched a combing operation in the area to arrest the escaped suspects.

Police were yet to ascertain the identity of three of the dead. Officials said Haji Muhammad had been declared a proclaimed offender and his name was listed in the Red Book, a list of most wanted militants.