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Pakistani man held by militants for 5 yrs jokes abt ‘Homeland’

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Lahore: A Pakistani man freed earlier this month after being held by militants for five years joked on Twitter today that his wife had compared him to Damien Lewis’s character in the hit US drama “Homeland”.

Shahbaz Taseer, the son of a Pakistani governor, was abducted by Islamist gunmen in Lahore in 2011, just months after his father Salman was killed for opposing the country’s controversial blasphemy laws.

He was picked up by security forces in the southwestern province of Balochistan on March 8, though the circumstances of his release remain murky.

His family have declined interviews with media since, but today Taseer took to Twitter for a light-hearted question and answer session with followers about his captivity.

When asked by one if he had seen “Homeland”, starring Lewis as a US Marine turned would-be terrorist after he was radicalised during eight years of captivity, he said: “Not yet but trust me I’m good!”

“The protagonist in its first 2 seasons came to my mind when I heard the news about your release,” the follower pushed.

But Taseer laughed it off, writing: “That’s what my wife said haha”.

During his custody, Taseer was moved between locations in the tribal areas and militant outfits, according to multiple rebel commanders.

Militant sources have said he was treated well during his time in captivity, with one telling AFP that he used to play cricket with his captors.

Speculation has been rife that his release — which came a week after his father’s killer Mumtaz Qadri was hanged — was the a result of a ransom being paid to his Taliban captors, with some militant sources placing the figure at tens of millions of dollars.

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