radio set
[Representational image] A radio set was all that spared Shahbaz Taseer the trauma of brutality for five years. Pictured: An Afghan man listens to the radio holding his son in a refugee camp in Kumkishlyak in Northern Afghanistan, October 26, 2001.Reuters

He was subjected to brutal tortures for as many as five years by the Taliban, one of the deadliest Islamic fundamentalist militant groups the world has ever witnessed. However, that didn't take away his motivation to keep living on amid all odds and also follow his favourite football club Manchester United.

Sports has come to the rescue for several ranks of people over time immemorial and we have got another witness of that. Shahbaz Taseer, a Pakistani national and the son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was kidnapped by the militant group in 2011 and was tortured in the most horrific levels possible.

Only in his early thirties, Shahbaz endured immense suffering that could easily make any civilian a battered, tormented and a mentally-sick person, having nightmares almost every hour of the day. A radio, however, never really let Shahbaz lose his mind and go into the worst of traumas.

Shahbaz followed matches of English Premier League side Manchester United over the radio and that was his only way to find hope inside hell. "For me, it was a window to the outside world. Getting soccer news kept me sane," Shahbaz wrote in Pakistan's Daily Times newspaper, as quoted by News Pakistan.

Everything actually turned out in favour of Shahbaz, actually, as one of the Taliban guards in Uzbekistan also happened to be an United fan and both lent their ears to the commentary during matches.

Shahbaz was recently sent the official jersey of the club, autographed by the current squad -- one of the best gifts he could have asked for since getting out of captivity. A cold war had ensued between the Uzbek Taliban and the Afghan Taliban group earlier this year and that led to him getting free. He was safely transferred to Lahore thereafter, where he is currently living with his family.

"Proud son of the bravest man in Pakistan. Die-hard ManU fan. An astronaut whose never been to the moon but been to Afghanistan [sic]," reads Shahbaz's twitter bio.

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