Islamabad: Pakistan’s former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Haider Gilani, who was recently rescued by the American forces in Afghanistan, has said he was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda to force government to free some women family members of the terror group’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Ali Haider Gilani when he arrived home in Lahore in May. Pic/AFP
Ali was kidnapped after an election rally in May 9, 2013. "I was chained for two years," he said. "I was kept in a small room, not allowed to see the sky for one year and two months. I forgot how the sun felt on my skin."
He was recovered in May by US forces. "They wanted the government to release some women from family of al-Zawahiri," Ali, who was in custody of al-Qaeda for three years, told BBC Urdu.
Ali said he was not physically tortured but forced to live in mental agony. He said that the militants were angry with his father for operations against them. "My father was prime minister when their leader Osama Bin Laden was killed. They told me they wanted revenge," he said.
Ali said he had a diary where he tried to keep track of time and jot down day-to-day thoughts: "It kept me sane. I prayed a lot. I used to think of my son and say I have to survive for him."
Talking about future, Ali said that he was writing a book and would return to politics.