Rescued American-Canadian family says they were in Pakistan for a year before being freed. The revelations show the Pakistanis had stage-managed the “rescue operation” to appease the angry Americans who were visiting to deliver a tough message from the Trump administration to Pakistan on the latter’s fake fight against militancy….writes Rifan Ahmed Khan
The truth is finally out, and it has come from the horse’s mouth, as it were. The hapless Canadian-American that had been kidnapped and held for five years, were in Pakistan for a year before being freed in the first week of October.
Details are coming out in the interview Caitlan Coleman and husband Joshua who were in the captivity of the Taliban for five long years. The interview has been published in Canadian newspaper Toronto Star.
The Pakistanis had stage-managed the much-touted “rescue operation” to appease the angry Americans who were visiting to deliver a tough message from the Trump administration to Pakistan on the latter’s fake fight against militancy.
Pakistanis perhaps thought the Americans would be naïve to believe the dramatic ‘rescue’ that was announced, like a happy coincidence, when US-Pak bilateral talks were being held in Islamabad.
The Americans did not seem to buy it, or kept it to themselves diplomatically during the talks, and nevertheless, talked tough to the Pakistanis.
Islamabad went to town claiming that its army had acted swiftly on a tip-off from the American intelligence that the couple, with two children born in captivity, was being ‘transferred’ from Afghanistan to Pakistan. They sought to take credit for the successful rescue operation.
Dawn newspaper reporting on the talks next day, called it a “happy augury” and its columnist Cyril Almeida half-jokingly wondered “why the hell” had the rescue taken place on the Pakistani soil and that why had not the Americans given the Afghans such a tip-off when the family was still in Afghanistan.
Strangely, on the very day US top diplomat Rex Tillerson was in Islamabad holding talks, the Karachi newspaper published, without offering any comment, details of the interview wife Catlain gave to the Canadian newspaper with the headline: “Caitlan Coleman breaks silence on captivity, says ‘was in Pakistan for more than a year’.
Was Islamabad embarrassed by this ‘coincidence’? One wonders, except that the grand ‘rescue’ is now being sheepishly called ‘recovery’.
Caitlain has disputed Pakistani claims about her rescue saying that she was in Pakistan for at least a year before she was “rescued” by Pakistan Army.
Caitlain has called the bluff, saying: “Right now, everybody’s shunting blame and making claims. Pakistan says no, they were never in Pakistan until the end. The US says, no they were always in Pakistan; it was Pakistan’s responsibility. But neither of those are true.”
She also said that she is certain that they were held in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We were not crossing into Pakistan that day. We had been in Pakistan for more than a year at that point.”
Coleman said the couple was moved to Pakistan immediately after being kidnapped in Afghanistan. This bolsters the American stand that it was done by the Affghan Taliban or the Haqqani network with Pakistani authorities in full knowledge and indirect consent.
“They first took us out of Afghanistan; it was several days’ drive,” said Coleman. Giving details, she said that her kidnappers took them to Miramshah in North Waziristan (in Pakistan) where they were kept for almost a year, adding that they knew where they were because her husband, Joshua Boyle, could understand some Farsi.
“Then we were moved to the north of Miramshah, to the house of a man who said he was called Mahmoud.
The couple and their children were frequently moved between Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Coleman. They were usually drugged and kept in the trunk whenever they were moved, she said.