Liaqat Ali, a profile on Facebook, shared an audio clip at around 3pm on Thursday. The voice identified himself as Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson for the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and its offshoot Jamaatul Ahrar.
“My name is Ehsanullah Ehsan and I was previously associated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaatul Ahrar,” the voice in the audio clip said.
He added that he had surrendered himself to the Pakistan’s intelligence agencies after reaching an agreement with them on February 5, 2017. He claimed he escaped from the custody of Pakistani institutions after they violated the agreement.
He, however, didn’t share details of the agreement.
Liaqat Ali is the real name of Ehsanullah Ehsan. SAMAA Digital contacted the person who is running the Facebook account and he said that he is Ehsanullah Eshan and he has escaped from the custody of Pakistani institutions.
“I have to clear many things but that’s all for today,” he said when he was asked to share more details of his “escape” from Pakistan.
English-language daily The News earlier reported that Ehsan is currently in Turkey. Ehsan declined to share his whereabouts with SAMAA Digital. However, he did say that The News had reported an “off-the-record discussion”.
SAMAA Digital couldn’t independently verify his claims. However, the reporters who have spoken to Ehsan in the past are sure that it is his voice in the audio clip.
Rasool Dawar, a journalist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, told SAMAA Digital that he recognizes Ehsan’s voice and it was his voice in the audio clip.
Aqeel Yousufzai, a Peshawar-based analyst, told SAMAA Digital that he has spoken to Ehsanullah Ehsan a number of times in the past.
“I had spoken to him a few weeks before he surrendered himself to the security forces,” Yousufzai said. He believes the voice in the audio clips was of Ehsan.
“I am 80% sure that he is Ehsanullah Ehsan.”
It has been at least 24 hours since the audio clip of Ehsanullah Eshan was shared on social media. The military authorities or the government officials have neither confirmed nor denied it. SAMAA Digital tried to contact Interior Minister Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah and left him messages but he didn’t respond.
In April 2017, the Pakistani military had confirmed that Ehsan surrendered himself to the security forces.
A week later, his confessional video statement was shared with the media. In his statement, Ehsan claimed that the TTP was actually misleading youth in the name of Islam and had links with the Indian intelligence agency.
“In these nine years, I observed that TTP recruited youth by misleading them in the name of Islam. They did not follow whatever they preached. A handful of emirs who dominated TTP leadership used to receive extortion money from innocent people, massacre innocents by bomb blasts on public points, attack schools, colleges and universities… So, Islam doesn’t teach us this,” Ehsan had said.
In February 2018, the then Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry had told the parliament that Ehsan will be tried in a military court. He, however, has not been tried in any court in Pakistan.
Who is Ehsanullah Ehsan?
Liaquat Ali, known as Ehsanullah Ehsan, belongs to Mohmand district in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He joined the TTP as a college student in 2008 and went on to become its central spokesperson.
In 2013, Ehsan parted ways with the outlawed TTP after developing differences with the group’s leadership. He had become Jamaatul Ahrar’s spokesperson after it was formed by Omar Khalid Khorasani in August 2014.
As a spokesperson for the TTP, Ehsan had claimed responsibility for several terrorist attacks, including the life attempt on Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in Swat and journalist Hamid Mir by planting an explosive device in his car.