Interior Minister Shah confirms Ehsanullah Ehsan's escape from state custody

Web Desk
February 17, 2020

Ijaz Shah's statement is the first time the government has officially acknowledged the development

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ijaz Shah on Monday admitted that the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP) former spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has escaped from state custody.

Shah's statement is the first time the government has officially acknowledged the development.

At the Parliament House while responding to a reporter's question of whether reports of Ehsan's escape were true, the minister acknowledged that the TTP's former spokesperson had indeed escaped, adding that the state was aware of the matter.

When asked if something was being done in this regard, Shah said: "A lot is happening".

However, he did not clarify what exactly "a lot" meant.

Earlier this month, Ehsan had announced through an audio message circulated on social media that he was no longer in the state's custody and had managed to escape.

Commenting on the development, an unnamed government official had at the time simply said Ehsan had surrendered voluntarily to the government on Feb 5, 2017, under an agreement.

Security sources had said the state had launched many successful anti-terrorism operations based on information provided by Ehsan.

'Voluntary surrender'

Soon after surrendering in Feb 2017, the former TTP spokesperson had appeared in a TV interview wherein he admitted his involvement in several terrorist incidents.

On the other hand, no formal statement was ever issued on behalf of the state on the circumstances and conditions of his surrender.

Instead, a video 'confession' had been released, in which Ehsan had provided details of terrorist organisations working with hostile foreign agencies to destabilise Pakistan.

Ehsan had stated in the 'confession' that terrorist organisations were working with Indian and Afghan intelligence and security forces to carry out subversive activities in Pakistan.

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