Stringer Asia Logo
Share on Google+
news of the day
in depth
The mystery of Ehsanullah's 'escape'
  • Ehsanullah Ehsan
    Ehsanullah Ehsan
Parents and family members of the 140 victims who were killed in the terrorist attack targeting Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014 took to the streets days ago to protest against the reported escape of former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan. The demonstrators, led by Shuhada APS Forum President Advocate Fazal Khan, gathered outside the Peshawar Press Club, and shouted slogans against the militant’s reported escape. Following reports placing the former spokeperson of Tehreek-E-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) not in Turkey as he declared but in Pakistan, the demonstrators, demanded the government to address the questions surrounding Ehsan’s escape and launch an investigation into the matter. Without any reply, of course. Ehsanullah Ehsan has 'fled' the jail or, to be more precise, the safe house where he was living in Pakistani Army's custody, according to a video he released in February, the 11 January. No comments have been released yet by the Army until now. Ehsan, who took responsability for the attempt mureder of Malala Yousuzai and for the attack at the Peshawar school (where the victms mostly belonged to Army families) had been taken by ISI people from Afghanistan in 2017. Shortly after he was allowed an interview to Geo-TV, where he 'confessed' to be paid and funded by Indian RAW and became one of the 'witnesses' in Kulbushan Yadav case. Interestingly enough, while he was official under arrest, he has never been presented in front of a court of law. More than in jail, he was under protection of the Army, looks like. In fact the video circulating on social media in which Ehsanullah gave the news of his escape, according to the analyst Faran Jeffrey who analysed it immediately after it was released: “was first shared by a Twitter account claiming to represent Ehsan. The Twitter account was created in Jan 2020. The Twitter account links to a Facebook account named Liaqat Ali, which is Ehsan's real name. The Facebook account was created in Sept 2016. What is very interesting is that the Facebook account has been active throughout 2018-19, when Ehsan was in jail. Moreover, it has "Islamabad" as current location. The FB account has been posting almost monthly posts (sometimes multiple times a month) throughout this time”. And few days ago a report of Indian intelligence, based on forensic analysis of the Twitter account used by Ehsanullah, confirmed Jeffrey's first analysis: the account is based in Islamabad. According to many analyst, in fact, Ehsan's escape has been an 'inside job' and he left his safe house with the blessings of his guardians. And this, especially for people from KPK, is just another confirmation of what PTM activists keep repeating since a while: Taliban are back in the region or, better, they never really left. Manzoor Pashteen, the PTM chief, and the other members of the movement has been denouncing many times the connivence between Army and Taliban: “Pakistani Army is playing a double role. They are on one side telling us that they are against Taliban but actually they give them an opportunity to displace people from the area and give an opportunity to Taliban to make them strong in these areas”. PTM has been accusing for long time the Army of using border regions as training camps and nurseries for jihadi, as battlefields for war-like actions against the 'bad' Taliban, as safe heavens for the 'good' Taliban', as factories for fake documents in order to send ISI spies to Afghanistan. According to local sources, Taliban have been given again a clean chit by the Army to restart their activities in the region, in order to pressurize the international community on the Kashmir issue and have a leverage to blackmail US on this and on the Afghan peace process. According to the same locals, very well known commanders have been allotted areas of influence as members of the so called 'Peace Committees'. The same Commitees that ordered, time ago, to burn five people alive and issued continuosly statements preventing people from administering polio drops to children, play music or using DJ at weddings, preventing men from shaving their beard and women from leaving the house alone. Locals say that only Taliban are allowed to roam freely in KPK. “Taliban are recruitng people, harbouring terrorists coming from other parts of Pakistan and they all work under the patronage of pakistani military” says an activist. And many, in the area, are afraid Ehsanullah escape would or could be only an occasion, for the Army, to start another military operation in KPK targeting, of course, not Taliban but PTM activists.
Francesca Marino