British Boy Sahil Kidnap Case- Who are the Culprits?

Sahil Saeed with his mother at home in Oldham

By Majed Iqbal- A story which has acclaimed international attention in the last few weeks has now come to rest. The abduction and kidnapping of a five year old child from Oldham travelling to Pakistan with his family hit news stations and papers across the globe as the case was followed hourly anticipating the worst outcome.

Finally, after a Global operation contributed by many countries, the kidnappers were caught after being lured with the demanded ransom money in Spain. Sahil arrived home safely and didn’t even realise what he had been through in the last week.

Post-kidnapping many commentators have opened a new chapter to this episode delving into the suitability now of British Pakistanis travelling to Pakistan for a holiday. “Is it safe enough?” “Are you worried about your childs safety?”  “How often would you go down now?” “Conditions are not suitable in the country for families to travel”.

The debate has now focused on Pakistan, the ancestral birthplace of many Second, third and fourth generation Pakistanis living in Britain. After declaring Pakistan a failed state in judge, jury and executioner style after the spate of terrorist attacks, the new media frenzy seeks now to further dent the image of the 178 million populated country as a hub for kidnappings.

Criminal kidnappings which are motivated by money and not political objectives— are reported to be on the rise globally, with Pakistan just one of the countries where incidents have become more frequent. Control Risks, the security specialist, has identified a shift in activity, from Latin America to Asia. In 2003, 65 per cent of reported kidnaps were in Latin America. By 2009 that had fallen to 37 per cent with Asian kidnappings making up 36 per cent (compared with 19 per cent six years before).

Lloyd’s insurance market says that the kidnap situation worldwide “could be set to deteriorate as the global recession continues to bite”.

Pakistan’s instability is down to some fundamental factors. The circus act where the country has juggled between dictatorship, Martial law and Democracy on the orders of foreign powers financing and supporting to gain their influence in this region is worth investigating. The inability of a political set up to mature for more than a year has rocked the social, Political and economic conditions of the country sending it down a downward spiral whilst America ans Britain continue to compete for dominance in the region.

In a country whose government spends 0.6% of its budget on Health care and 2.6% on education, where 85 million people are unable to read or write, where the agricultural sector which is the bread and butter for millions is being crippled by International institutions like the IMF and World Bank with huge taxes and cuts, where basic necessities like water, gas and electricity are continuously rising beyond the affordability of the average person because the government sold off these utilities to international companies, and in a country where suicide rates are on the rise as people are unable to bear the cries of their hungry families and face going home again with no food.

The government of Pakistan which sits on some of the words most cherished resources but yet fails to look after its citizens.

According to Punjab University in Pakistan there are  coal reserves amounting 175 billion tonnes which is equivalent to 618 billion barrels of crude oil equalling the total oil reserves of the top 4 oil producing countries.

Pakistan has the largest gold/copper ore deposits at Saindak (Baluchistan) which are ready to be mined. Under the barren mountains of Balochistan and hot sands of Sindh, there is unlimited amount of oil and gas reserves not touched yet. The fertile lands of Punjab which are derelict due to wealthy land owners not using them are ready to feed a population twice as big as Pakistan’s is now.

Due to the inability of successive governments, the population suffers whilst living in a country rich with resources, talents, expertise and  a large workforce.

These conditions are forcing people to take extreme measures to earn a living, to feed their families and make something out of  their lives. Sahils unfortunately fell victim to these conditions which is permeating Pakistan today.

The ill-set up of the leadership and it governments over the last decade are the ones to really blame and those international powers who are behind this instability.

As the cliché goes “Dont blame the player, blame the game”


  1. Kez Ali says:

    How can you blame a government for the actions of these people. I understand which angle you are basing your information on, and yes people are desperate in a country where the politicians are filling thier pocketes at the expense of poor citizens. However, each person is responsible for their own actions. These people chose to do what they did, there are plenty of citizens in pakistan who are in desperate situations or worse than those who committed these acts but they chose to continue their lives with hard work, honour and their religion.

    Desperate times fall upon us all, what makes us different is how we chose to react to those situations. If the people of Pakistan want to make a difference they could, but they put that government in charge and when something goes wrong what do they do, they bury the place down. They go in the streets burning thier fellow brother’s home, car, shops and livelihood. They can choose not to do that, they can choose to change their circumstances by means which do not cause harm to others. I agree the government is to blame for a lot, but the reason behind a kidnapping, that is soley to be blamed on those people who chose not to work hard and try to get themselves and thier family out of problems in an honest way but to do it in a manner that would harm others.

    People make their own decisions. Just because the government is so corrupt is not an open invitation for people to comit such acts. They have a choice and if they choose to kidnap an innocent young boy, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    • majedsblog says:

      The article does not absolve the crime of abducting the 5 year old child in anyway. I agree with your comment that individuals are responsible for their actions. There still remains the serious debate on the conditions imposed by a government whose credentials of being ‘elected’ are hugely questionable.

      Musharraf was brought in 1999 by America. In 2007 Benazir was pushed forward by Britain and America to go back such that she could compete for power after musharrafs puplularity plummeted. So is the govt in charge or is that foreign powers are steering the direction of the country?

      How about the IMF And World Bank and their stranglehold on the economy?

      These factors are a huge reason to the dire situation people in Pakistan are facing today. This includes those millions living under absolute poverty.

      The Beloved Propphet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said “The imam is a shepherd and is responsible for his sheep”. The ruler, namely the govt is responsible for its citizens and it is from this angle we must evaluate this issue too.

      Umar al Farooq (radiallahu anhu) said “Poverty leads to kufr”. Meaning poverty makes you do extreme things that you wouldnt normally do.

      The articles attempt was to try to provide a whollistic view on this issue and not focusing just on the media frenzy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: