Ali Haider, who spent three years as a Taliban prisoner, told Army Chief General Raheel Sharif that his captors feared him. He also called him a brave soldier.
Ali Haider Gilani, was abducted three years ago from Multan,was recovered from Afghanistan’s Ghazni province in a joint operation carried out by Afghan and US forces against an ‘Al Qaeda-affiliated group’.
Ali Haider was kidnapped by gunmen in Multan on May 9, 2013, days before he was slated to run for the Punjab Assembly.
His two associates were killed during the kidnapping.
At the time of the abduction, Ali Haider was contesting the general election from PPP-200 constituency in Multan.
His family is one of the most powerful in the central town of Multan and a key clan in the PPP, whose campaign for re-election had been dramatically curtailed by Tehreek-e-Taliban threats at the time.
Yousaf Raza Gilani was prime minister from March 2008 until he was sacked and indicted by the Supreme Court in April 2012 for refusing to reopen corruption cases against the then-president Asif Ali Zardari.
The former prime minister led major military offensives against Taliban strongholds in Swat and South Waziristan in 2009.
In a detailed interview with the BBC Ali Haider said that his captors wanted the release of a few women from Ayman al-Zawahiri’s family in exchange for his freedom.
Speaking about his survival in captivity, Gilani stated that he had been chained for over two years and had not felt the sun on his skin for over a year. He spoke of a diary he used to keep track of time and to pen down his daily thoughts. “It kept me sane,” he added.
Ali Haider is working on a book where he will narrate his ordeal as a Taliban prisoner.