INTRODUCTION: The ordeal of the hostages aboard the hijacked Pakistani airliner appeared to be over on Thursday (12 March).
GV Airport area.
SV People looking from distance at hijacked aircraft on runway. (2 SHOTS)
TS Runway with aircraft and fire engine.
SV PAN FROM Nose To Wing of Pakistan International Airlines aircraft.
SV Newsmen filming as one from cockpit window brandishing rifle. (3 SHOTS)
Pakistan government sources say the group to which the hijackers belong is led by the son of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, executed when the military took over. Some government sources are saying that Mr. Bhutto's son is actually on the hijacked plane, leading the gunmen, but this has been denied by his supporters.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The ordeal of the hostages aboard the hijacked Pakistani airliner appeared to be over on Thursday (12 March). Pakistan's government gave in to the demands of the hijackers, and agreed to release fifty five political prisoners.
SYNOPSIS: The airliner had been on the ground at Damascus airport in Syria since last weekend (8 March), but the drama started a week before that. The hijackers had commandeered the plane in Pakistan's airspace, and flown first to Kabul, in Afghanistan, and then onto Syria. Twenty eight women passengers had been released in Kabul, but one hostage and been shot.
For over a hundred people still trapped in Damascus, conditions aboard the Pakistan International Airlines jet, were extremely uncomfortable. The three armed hijackers threatened to kill more of the passengers if their demands were not met. Minutes before the final deadline expired, Pakistan's government agreed to free the political prisoners the hijackers had named. But until those prisoners have actually been released from jail in Pakistan and are on their way out of the country, the hijackers will keep their hostages under guard. An official Syrian spokesman said his government would be in touch with both sides to complete the deal.