PESHAWAR - Former spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and a key figure carrying the same responsibilities for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Ehsanullah Ehsan, yesterday surrendered to the security forces, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor disclosed Monday.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a resident of Mohmand Agency’s Safi tehsil whose actual name is Sajjad Mohmand, surrendered to the forces. Interestingly, he is the third spokesman for the terrorist organisation, who is in the forces’ custody. Former TPP spokesman Molvi Umer and TTP Swat spokesperson Muslim Khan are already in the forces’ custody.

Ehsanullah Ehsan has also been spokesman for Pakistani Taliban, however, in December 2011, he objected to the negotiations between the Taliban and the Pakistan government for a ceasefire. He asserted that the individuals were negotiating the ceasefire without the authorisation of the Taliban leadership. He was sacked by TTP on June 25, 2013. Omar Khorasani, a senior leader in the movement, established Jamaat-ul-Ahrar after developing differences with TTP chief Fazlullah in September 2014. Ehsan joined Omar Khorasani’s Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. Fazlullah of Swat had become TTP chief after the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud in a drone strike in South Waziristan in November 2013.

Being Ahrar’s man, Ehsan had claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist acts in Pakistan. Ahrar has not yet reacted to the information.

In 2014, after a split in the TTP, Ehsan had become a spokesperson for Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) which was then a newly-formed splinter group of TTP. Ehsan had said once that 70 to 80 percent of TTP commanders and fighters had joined the splinter group.

Ehsan’s surrender was interpreted as a major breakthrough as the JuA was sponsoring most of terrorist attacks in Pakistan since its creation, the experts said. His surrender is a serious setback for militants as he was one of their top leaders. The army spokesman did not elaborate on how Ehsan surrendered. He, however, said there can be no bigger achievement for Pakistan than the fact that the state’s biggest enemies were surrendering to the forces.

The JuA was behind the horrific attack on The Mall Road, Lahore, earlier this year, which sent shock waves through the country.

Ehsanullah, had been active in media, especially using social media’s various sites. Being much fond of sharing his pictures on social media, he most often used to send friendships offers to journalists. Sometimes, he talked on phone too. Ehsan has also been controversial among militants. Besides taking responsibility of militant acts, he had also accepted responsibility for attacking Malala Yousafzai. On October 17, 2012, the then interior minister Rehman Malik had announced Rs 100 million on Ehsan.