I had been quite uncomfortable for a few days before the coup. My sixth sense was constantly telling me, all is not well. I was in Swat making an address when I heard initial reports of some kind of change in the army command. There was confusion. I quickly finished my address and went to the rest house in Mingora to try to contact Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif. I could not. Soon after, I was informed that the military had taken over and I was placed under house arrest at the very same Mingora rest house. The next day, I was flown to Peshawar.

After a number of cases against me, I was jailed in various prisons including Attock Fort, where I remained for three years. During this period, I was offered both my freedom and a powerful role in the regime which I refused time and again.

This is a long story with many unpleasant chapters. I tried to stand firm on my principles, my ideals, my political affiliation and my association with the leadership. I fought a hard legal battle for several years, and finally, the Supreme Court exonerated me and ordered my release.

I don’t like to complain. As a political worker, I always knew one day I would have to pay a price for my principles. I only feel hurt for our country and what it had to go through.