Caitlan Coleman breaks silence on captivity, says ‘was in Pakistan for more than a year’
Disputing claims about her rescue, the recently recovered Caitlan Coleman has said that she was in Pakistan for at least a year before she was “rescued” by Pakistan Army in an operation near the Pak-Afghan border earlier this month.While speaking to the Toronto Star in her first interview since her recovery, Coleman said: “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, an American national, revealed in the interview — published on Monday — that the couple was moved to Pakistan immediately after being kidnapped in Afghanistan. ”They first took us out of Afghanistan; it was several days’ drive,” said Coleman, who still wears a hijab after being released. She refused to comment on whether the couple has converted to Islam. She said that her kidnappers took them to Miramshah in North Waziristan where they were kept for almost a year, adding that they knew where they were because her husband, Joshua Boyle, could understand some Farsi. “It was very bad. My husband and I were separated at that time. He wasn’t allowed to see Najaeshi or spend any time with us.” Najaeshi Jonah is their oldest son. “Then we were moved to the north of Miramshah, to the house of a man who said he was called Mahmoud. He was very nice to Najaeshi and would provide us with amenities [that] we wouldn’t have otherwise,” she told the Toronto Star. “He would take Najaeshi out to get him sunlight and nobody else did that at any other point.” She does not exactly remember the events around her rescue but does recall a gun battle while she was in the trunk of a car. “Our first fear — why we were not poking our heads up and yelling for help — was that it was another gang trying to kidnap us. Possibly just part of the Haqqani network fighting with another part. They’re all just bandits,” she said about her rescue. “You’re a prisoner for so long, you’re so suspicious. I was still thinking we don’t know these people, we don’t know where they’re taking us.” Of her reaction on realising it was the Pakistani forces and not another group of captors, she said: “I think I was mostly just in shock.” While revealing details of the rescue, Pakistan Army had said that the family had been moved from Afghanistan into Pakistan the day the operation took place, not earlier.