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February 18, 2020

Interior minister admits Ehsanullah’s escape from state custody

Top Story

February 18, 2020

Ag agencies

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ijaz Shah on Monday admitted that former spokesperson of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan had definitely escaped from custody of law enforcement agency.

In a conversation with reporter of a private TV channel at Parliament House the minister when asked whether reports regarding Ehsan’s escape were true or not admitted that Ehsan had

indeed escaped.

When asked again if the state knew that Ehsan had left the country, Shah repeated that the state does know and that is why he is confirming the news. When asked if something was being done in response to the escape, 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. An unnamed government official commenting on the development had at the time stated simply that 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.

Soon after surrendering in Feb 2017 the former TTP spokesperson had during a TV interview 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.

Meanwhile, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has submitted the question in the National Assembly Secretariat seeking a response of the escape of TTP’s ex- spokesman Ehsanullah Eshan from custody.

In a submitted written question submitted in the National Assembly on February 12, Bilawal questioned from the Interior Minister whether Ehsanullah Ehsan was under the custody of the security agencies of Pakistan. “If the answer is in negative then was that he escaped from the custody as it was widely reported,” he questioned from the interior minister.

Bilawal also questioned that what current status of incarceration. Though he submitted the written question in the National Assembly secretariat on February 12 yet so far the question was not taken up in the National Assembly and the National Assembly session was prorogued on Monday.