Pakistan Army spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar has said that former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan mouthpiece Ehsanullah Ehsan had managed to escape the custody with the help of “more than one army officials”.
According to a report in Independent Urdu that quotes Gen Iftikhar, the military is in the process of fixing responsibility in the case. “The details of the proceedings [against the accused] would be shared with the media soon,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief said in a conversation with the reporters of foreign media outlets.
Last week, a Twitter handle, now suspended, allegedly operated by Ehsanullah Ehsan threatened Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. Malala had responded to the tweet, asking the military’s media wing and PM Imran as to how did the Ehsan even escape.
The government had denied that the account belonged to the infamous terrorist, but Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala, asserted that it was the Twitter handle of the ex-TTP spokesperson. Ehsanullah had also confirmed this in an audio message to BBC Urdu, saying his account was suspended over threats to Malala but he would come back with a new Twitter handle soon.
However, the ISPR DG told reporters that he doesn’t think the account belonged to the ex-TTP spokesperson. “The attempts are being made to arrest the Taliban spokesperson, but at present, we have no idea where is he hiding,” he was quoted by the outlet as saying.
Ehsan is infamous for issuing claims of carrying out TTP attacks and has been linked to some of the country’s most deadly incidents of terror. These include the massacre of children at Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, bombing at a park in Lahore on Easter in 2016, and the targeting of Malala.
He surrendered to authorities in 2017 and later gave interviews to a Pakistani TV channel, leading to criticism and controversy that a terrorist was given airtime. It angered many in the country who believed he was being pampered by authorities after years of helping lead a violent insurgency. Ehsan mysteriously escaped custody last year, which, according to SAMAA, was also confirmed by the army.