By Francesca Marino
Rome [Italy], Feb 7 (ANI): The news has been circulating on social media: Ehsanullah Ehsan, former spokesperson and top leader of Tehreek-E-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) 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 circulating on Facebook and Twitter, Ehsan escaped on January 11, but the news has been given only now. No comments have been released yet by the Army.
Ehsan, who took the responsibility for the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai and for the attack at a Peshawar school that killed 150 children, most of them belonging to Army families, had been taken by the ISI people from Afghanistan.
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 Kulbhushan Jadhav's case. Interestingly enough, while he was officially under arrest, he has never been presented in front of a court of law.
More than in jail, he was under the protection of the Army, looks like. In fact, the video circulating on social media, according to the analyst Faran Jeffrey, "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 September 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 the current location. The FB account has been posting almost monthly posts (sometimes multiple times a month) throughout this time".
According to many analysts, Ehsan's escape has been an 'inside job' and he left his safe house with the blessings of his guardians. And this, especially for the people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is just another confirmation of what PTM activists keep repeating for a while: Taliban are back in the region or, better, they never really left. Yesterday they were freely demonstrating for Kashmir all over KPK, allowed, and in some cases, brought in the streets by the government and the Army.
On the other hand, PTM activists, who peacefully demonstrate for their constitutional rights in the past days, are taken into custody, 'disappeared' and charged with sedition. Their leader Manzoor Pashteen is still in jail with charges of sedition for addressing large, peaceful gatherings, who were protesting against the human and civil rights violations of Pakistani state against the Pashtuns.
Manzoor has been denouncing many times the connivance between Army and Taliban: "Pakistani Army is playing a double role. They are on one side telling us that they are against the 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 the Army of a long time 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, the 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 the leverage to blackmail the 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 Committees that ordered, time ago, to burn five people alive and issued continuous statements preventing people from administering polio drops to children, play music or using DJ at weddings, preventing men from shaving their beards and women from leaving the house alone.
Locals say that only the Taliban are allowed to roam freely in the KP. "Taliban are recruiting people, harboring terrorists coming from other parts of Pakistan and they all work under the patronage of the Pakistani military," says an activist.
Many, in the area, are afraid Ehsanullah's 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.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are strictly those of the author) (ANI)
'Taliban leader Ehsanullah Ehsan's escape from Pak jail has been an inside job'
Francesca Marino | Updated: Feb 07, 2020 11:15 IST
By Francesca Marino