He was last ‘seen’ on 6 October, five days after he participated in a Twitter Space hosted by a Pakistani journalist on 1 October.
New Delhi: Former Taliban (Pakistan) spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had been revealing internal and sensitive details of the close ties between officials of GHQ, Rawalpindi, and leaders of terror groups active in the Af-Pak region, including the Haqqani network, has “disappeared” and as per sources tracking the matter, he has either been killed or captured by the Pakistan assets that operate in the Af-Pak and Turkey regions where Ehsan was likely hiding.
Ehsan had recently generated headlines after he warned the New Zealand cricket team from traveling to Pakistan in view of an imminent terror attack on them by the cadre of Islamic State (IS). The New Zealand cricket team later decided not to play any cricket match in Pakistan, a path that was later followed by the England cricket team too.
Sources said that Ehsan was last “seen” on 6 October, five days after he participated in a Twitter Space hosted by a Pakistani journalist on 1 October. At that time, Ehsan, who has never disclosed his location after fleeing from a Pakistan army house in Peshawar in January 2020, was online and responding to queries of journalists for nearly one hour.
The sources said that it was for the first time that Ehsan has been “silent” for such a long time and he has not even communicated with a select group of people whom he trusts blindly. After the decision of the New Zealand and England cricket teams which caused a lot of financial and perception damage to Pakistan, the Pakistan army and its deep assets had increased their effort in tracking down Ehsan in order to silence him one way or the other.
Sources believe that if Ehsan is still alive and in custody of the Pakistan army, he is likely to be forced to give a “confessional statement” stating that he was working for Indian and Western intelligence agencies and whatever he had written on various social media platforms, media outlets and whatever he said in his various interviews was done on the direction of Indian spy agency, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW).
If this happens, this will not be the first time that GHQ generals and officials of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s spy agency, will be using Ehsan to push an anti-India narrative. On 26 April 2017, the GHQ had released a video statement of Ehsan, months after he had “surrendered”, in which he had stated that he was carrying out terror activities on the orders of R&AW.
Ehsan’s “surrender” was announced by the then spokesperson of Pakistan army Asif Ghafoor on 17 April. However, as per information gathered by this correspondent, he was arrested weeks before but presented before the media three months later in April. Ehsan’s real name is Liaqat Ali, but he is better known by his nom de guerre. The Sunday Guardian had first broken the news about his escape from the Pakistan military safe house in January 2020. It took more than two weeks for the Pakistan establishment to accept that Ehsan had indeed escaped.
Later, two senior army officers of the Pakistan army, including one colonel and one major, and 10 other subordinate ranks were punished for “dereliction of duty” that allowed Ehsan to escape. The details of the trial were never made public by the Pakistan army to avoid international embarrassment as Ehsan was declared as a prize catch and presented as an agent of Indian agencies by GHQ, Rawalpindi.