Pakistan intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had taken the help of Turkish intelligence agency National Intelligence Organization (MIT) at least twice in the last one-and-a-half year to track and apprehend former Taliban commander Ehsanullah Ehsan.
Ehsan had escaped from a Pakistan Army safe house in January 2020. Ankara-based sources aware of the developments told The Sunday Guardian that at least three individuals have been taken in custody by the MIT over the last 18 months for their role in helping Ehsan, who the ISI believes was and is hiding in Turkey.
In the first such incident, a local resident was arrested by the MIT in June 2020 following which he was questioned by a joint team of MIT and ISI officials for 48 hours. He was taken into custody after the ISI was told that he had helped Ehsan reach Turkey once and arranged accommodation for him after he fled the safe house along with his family members.
The said individual was later released without any charges being pressed against him. In March 2021, the MIT and the ISI picked up two individuals from within Turkey in order to ascertain the location of Ehsan, who had been giving extremely damaging public statements against the Pakistan political and military leadership, highlighting their alleged links with banned terror organisations.
These two individuals, including one Pakistani and one Afghan national, were subjected to sustained interrogation, but no concrete information could be generated by the combined team of MIT and ISI. The increased collaboration between the ISI and the MIT, which has been a subject of intense discussion among the intelligence community, has so far happened without much noise. The recent busting of two different alleged spy cells active in Turkey, one being run allegedly by Israel and the other being run allegedly by Iran, too, sources believe, had happened with the help of ISI. However, the recent revelation regarding how the ISI was being helped by the MIT to locate Ehsan confirms the increased closeness between the two spy agencies.