'They sewed my mouth shut'

Son of slain Pakistani politician recounts torment as hostage

What is it like living nearly half a decade as a hostage, shuffled between warring militant groups along the notoriously restless Pakistan-Afghanistan border, withstanding gruesome acts of torture and then suddenly, one day, escaping back to one's family and to home?

In his first English language interview since his release, Pakistan's Shahbaz Taseer told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that it is a test of patience, the strength of one's faith and random acts of kindness from the most unexpected of places that made him withstand his ordeal.

Militants abducted Shahbaz Taseer on August 26, 2011 in his hometown of Lahore. The abduction came only a few months after his father, Salman Taseer, the late swashbuckling Punjab governor, was assassinated for speaking out against a blasphemy law that makes insulting Islam a crime punishable by death.

Captured by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Shahbaz told CNN that the group was known in militant circles for being "ruthless, merciless and the best fighters."

While he was in the IMU's captivity he was tortured, with his tormenters making "extravagant Hollywood style videos" to send to his family and the government to pressure them into meeting their ransom demands.

"They pulled my fingernails out," Shahbaz told Amanpour. "It started with them lashing me with rubber whips. First day was 100 then they would go up to 200. They would carve my back open with blades, and then throw salt into it. They sewed my mouth shut and starved me. They cut flesh off my back, I bled for seven days and they gave me no medication."