Ehsanullah Ehsan is likely to shed light on the conduct of the Pakistan army and the ISI like never before as he worked as their asset and stayed with them for more than three years.

 

NEW DELHI: The Sunday Guardian can confirm that prominent Taliban leader Ehsanullah Ehsan is very much alive and is living as a free man outside Pakistan. This correspondent was presented with irrefutable evidence by sources on Friday and Saturday to prove that Ehsan is a free man. In fact, on Saturday, while speaking to The Sunday Guardian from an undisclosed location, Ehsan himself said that he was in good condition. “I am a free man and in good condition”, he said. He refused to share any further details. The Sunday Guardian was the first media outlet to report, in its 19 January edition, that Ehsan had fled from the custody of Pakistan army, where he had been since April 2017 (Pak Taliban leader Ehsanullah Ehsan ‘flees’ from safe house).

Ehsan, in all these years he was in custody of the Pakistan army and the ISI, was used as a tool to spread a false narrative about India and Kulbhushan Jadhav. In April 2017, the Pakistani military had released a so-called “confessional” statement by Ehsan, who was a former spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in which he claimed that TTP was working with India’s external intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Soon after this, in 2017 itself, Ehsan gave a 30-minute interview to Pakistan’s Geo television to present a “water-tight” case against Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is in Pakistan custody on the false charge of being a spy.

Ehsan’s escape now is likely to further weaken Pakistan’s false narrative in this case. Ehsan had released an audio statement on 6 January stating that he had escaped and that he would be putting in public the details about the Pakistan army and why he had surrendered and what he had seen in the last three years in custody. Ehsan’s complete statement, which he had promised to release soon, is likely to shed light on the conduct of the Pakistan army and the ISI like never before as he worked as their asset and stayed with them for more than three years.

Ehsan’s escape, which prompted an emergency meeting between ISI chief General Faiz Hamid with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, has come at a very crucial time for Pakistan. Pakistan’s case is being heard in the FATF, where it will be decided whether it should be continued in the grey list or should be shifted to the black list.

Pakistan based sources said that in order to put pressure on Ehsan to “come back”, the Pakistan army has kept his father, his three brothers and his uncle in illegal custody for more than two weeks now. It is pertinent to mention that none of these relatives of Ehsan, whose real name is Liaqat Ali, are in any way involved with any terror group.

Ehsan’s escape also blew the lid off Pakistan’s purported claim of battling terror as Ehsan was staying as the state guest of the ISI for nearly three years and no charge sheet was ever filed against him for his alleged role in the various terror acts that were carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, of which he was one of the most prominent members.

His escape has been kept hidden from the general public of Pakistan for more than two weeks, with the Pakistan army still neither accepting nor confirming his escape. Pakistan’s most prominent newspaper, Dawn, however, on Saturday wrote that Ehsan had escaped while giving credit of breaking the news to the world to The Sunday Guardian.