Caitlan Coleman, her husband, Joshua Boyle, and their three children were freed last week after being held captive in Pakistan for five years

By Char Adams
October 17, 2017 10:54 AM

A Canadian man who was held hostage in Pakistan with his American wife and their three children for five years is speaking out about the couple’s decision to have children while in captivity.

“We’re sitting as hostages with a lot of time on our hands,” Joshua Boyle told the Associated Press of himself and his wife Caitlan Coleman. “We always wanted as many as possible, and we didn’t want to waste time. Cait’s in her 30s, the clock is ticking.”

Last Wednesday, Pakistan secured the release of Coleman and Boyle along with their three children, Jonah, Noah and Grace — all born in captivity. The family spent five years in terrorist custody after being abducted during a hiking trip in Afghanistan.

Boyle told the AP that he and Cait, who was seven months pregnant at the time of her abduction, had always wanted a big family, so they decided: “Hey, let’s make the best of this and at least go home with a larger start on our dream family.”


The couple have three children aged 4, 2, and “around 6 months, ” Boyle said.

“Honestly, we’ve always planned to have a family of five, 10, 12 children,” he told the publication. “We’re Irish.”

The couple was abducted in 2012 while traveling in Afghanistan and have been held by the Haqqani network, which has ties to the Taliban, in Pakistan, the Associated Press reports. Coleman gave birth three times while in captivity.

On Friday, Boyle detailed some of the horrific abuse his family received at the hands of the militants.

AP Photo/Bill Gorman

During a press conference at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto captured by The Guardian, Boyle revealed that among the many cruelties they suffered was the rape of his wife and the murder of their infant daughter born in captivity, who he said was slain in retaliation for his refusal to accept an offer from the family’s abductors.

During their time in captivity, the group appeared in several videos sent to their families in which they pleaded for help from the U.S. government. A video last January showed the couple’s 4-year old son dressed in dirty clothing and sitting on his father’s lap, according to ABC News.

Upon the family’s release,  Coleman’s father, Jim, slammed Boyle for his decision to take their pregnant daughter to the country in the first place. “Taking your pregnant wife to a very dangerous place, to me and the kind of person I am, is unconscionable,” he told ABC News.