Ali Haider Gilani was recently recovered from the captivity of Taliban through a joint US and Afghan operation, after remaining captive for three years. He recently gave an interview to BBC, in which he gave details of his time in captivity and how he was eventually saved.
Talking to reporters, Gilani said that Al-Qaeda initially kidnapped him for the release of a few women from Ayman al-Zawahiri’s family. He said that they also demanded ransom for his exchange and later revealed that another reason for kidnapping him was to take revenge from his father.
Ali Haider Gilani’s father, Yousaf Raza Gilani was the Prime Minister of Pakistan at the time the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound was conducted in Abbottabad.
“My father was prime minister when their leader Osama Bin Laden was killed. He also started an operation in South Waziristan. They told me they wanted to take revenge,” he said.
While he was imprisoned, the Taliban kept a very close watch over him and there was always one person with Gilani at all times. He also revealed that for two years he was kept chained and did not see the sun for almost a year. Gilani revealed that he kept a diary with him in which he would keep track of time and write down his thoughts in order to keep himself sane.
Gilani was abducted in 2013 from his hometown of Multan while he was out campaigning for the upcoming elections. He revealed that he had never received any threats prior to the abduction but that he had noticed a car following him around, a week prior to the abduction.
In the end, Gilani revealed how he was rescued by American troops while he was being transported to another location. He also mentioned his plans of eventually writing a book and eventually returning to politics.