PHC asks govt not to release TTP ex-spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan

PESHAWAR –  A division bench of the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed the government not to release Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s former spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan without order of the highest court of the province.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Ijaz Anwar also directed the government to inform the court when investigation is completed in cases against Ehsanullah Ehsan.

The court issued these directives in a writ petition of Fazal Khan, who is a practicing lawyer and father of Sahibzada Umar Khan, a grade-8 student who had embraced martyrdom during terror attack on the Army Public School, seeking orders of the court to restrain the government from granting clemency to Ehsan, and instead try him in the military court.

Barrister Ameerullah Khan Chamkani submitted before the bench that the Ministry of Interior had given one line reply which shows the government had kept the former TTP spokesman as a guest and would soon grant clemency to him.

He further stated that the government did not mention in the reply that the clemency is not being granted to him. He further added that under Army Act trial of such a dangerous militant will not take time.

The lawyer further added that he had accepted responsibility for the terrorist attack on the Army Public School, which is also confession of the terrorism act.

The petitioner had made the government of Pakistan through secretary Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence through secretary defence, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government through chief secretary and others as respondents in the petition. The petitioner claimed that he had been informed by reliable sources that clemency will be granted to Ehsan in exchange of his “full and frank disclosure.” He said this was not only deplorable but also illegal and unconstitutional.

The petitioner said that on the very next date of the APS attack, TTP through Ehsan, had victoriously claimed responsibility for the brutal incident and vowed to carry out more such attacks in future through media and other channels of communication.

Ehsan, mouthpiece of TTP, had handed over himself to security forces in April. After the conclusion of arguments, the court directed the government not to release Ehsan without the court’s order.

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