Indian priest Father Prem Kumar, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan last year and spent the next eight months in captivity, has given his first interview.

Speaking from the Vatican having just met the Pope, he told BBC World Service that his captors were “innocent” people who were coerced by the Taliban into joining their ranks.

The Jesuit priest, who became well known for preaching tolerance, said he was kept alone in chains throughout his captivity, which was in nine different places such as caves and abandoned houses.

He prayed for three hours each day to help him “forgive” his captors and bears no ill feelings towards them. Kumar was released in February this year after intervention by the Indian government.