Islamabad - Former key leader and spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan, who is in the state custody, has issued a confessional statement admitting the TTP has links with Indian intelligence agency RAW and Afghanistan’s NDS.

Ehsansullah Ehsan said he joined proscribed TTP in 2008 and later also served as the spokesperson of Jamaat-ul Ahrar (JuA), the most deadly TTP offshoot which is responsible for most of the major terrorist acts in country in recent years.

In the confessional statement made through a video clip and issued by the military’s media wing ISPR, former Taliban leader stated that these people [TTP and JuA] have misled people in the name of Islam for their own ends.

He said there are people in terrorist ranks who are frustrated with the fight which only serves TTP leaders self-interest, and he appealed them to quit terrorism and return to Pakistan. He also urged people, especially youth, to not fall a prey to terrorists’ malicious propaganda.

Ehsan said the TTP has special committees which are linked with India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). About Afghanistan military and its National Directorate of Intelligence (NDS), Ehsansullah Ehsan said they used to cross border and carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan with their help.

Enemy designs stand exposed

ISPR Director General Asif Ghafoor said that Ehsanullah Ehsan has exposed enemy’s hostile agenda and designs to destabilise Pakistan.

In a tweet, he said “our youth is our strength and shall never fall prey to the designs of the enemy”.

Maj-Gen Asif had announced on April 17 that Ehsan had surrendered to Pakistan’s security agencies.

Announcing his surrender, the ISPR chief said that one of the objectives of the counterterrorism operations was to restore the writ of the state and that should be considered a major achievement if those previously indulging in wrongdoing realised that they were on the wrong side.

It is generally believed that Ehsan has been in the military’s custody since the Army responded to a string of terrorist attacks in February, which had been claimed by JuA, by shelling terrorist hideouts along the Pak-Afghan border.

Ehsanullah Ehsan was believed to have been in hiding in Afghanistan. He was one of the founding figures of JuA, which was formed in August 2014 after splitting from the TTP.

JuA is one of the most lethal of TTP’s splinter groups and has been involved in some of the most brutal attacks in the country. The group carried out about 120 attacks since it was formed nearly three years ago.

At one stage JuA had aligned itself with Daesh, the Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State group. JuA subsequently returned to the TTP fold, but continued to maintain an independent identity. The group launched the so-called operation Ghazi in February that led to spike in terrorist attacks.

Having Ehsan in custody could be invaluable for security agencies given the wealth of information he could have about TTP and JuA networks and operations.

Transcript of Ehsanullah’s

video confession

My name is Liaquat Ali, aka Ehsanullah Ehsan, and I belong to the Mohmand Agency. I joined the TTP in 2008, when I was a college student.

I have been a spokesperson for TTP Mohmand, TTP’s central division and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. I have seen a lot in my nine years with these organisations.

These people have misled people in the name of Islam, especially the youth, for their own ends. They themselves do not hold themselves to the same standards they champion for others.

A particular group [within them] is responsible for misleading people, kidnapping them, extorting money and murdering innocents. These people have been behind bomb attacks in public spaces and attacking schools, colleges and universities. This is not what Islam teaches us.

When the operation in Waziristan kicked off, these people [TTP groups] started fighting with each other for power and leadership. A formal election campaign was run by Molvi Fazlulah, Khalid Khurasani and Molvi Sajna.

After Hakimullah [Mehsud] was killed, a new succession struggle started. Campaigns began in support of Omar Khalid Khorasani, [Khan Said] Sajna and Mullah Fazlullah. Everyone wanted power, so a shura [consultative committee] decided that there would be a draw of names for the future leader. This is how Mullah Fazlullah was elected leader of the TTP.

What can you expect from a leader who was nominated through a lucky draw? And what can you expect from Fazlullah, who married his mentor’s daughter by force and took her away. People like him are not fit to serve Islam.

After the operation in North Waziristan, we fled to Afghanistan. Over there, we established and developed contacts with NDS [Afghan intelligence agency] and RAW.

They [TTP leadership] got their [Indian and Afghan] support, their funding and took money for every activity they did. They pushed the TTP soldiers to the frontlines to fight against Pakistan Army and went into hiding themselves.

When they started taking help from India and RAW, I told Khorasani that we’re supporting the kuffar [non-believers] and helping them kill our own people in our own country.

He [Khorasani] said: Even if Israel wants to fund me to destabilise Pakistan, I will not hesitate in taking their help.

At that point, I realised that TTP was following an agenda that [only] served the self-interest of its leaders.

These [terrorist] organisations have established committees in Afghanistan through which they communicate and coordinate with RAW. The Indians had given them special documents to help them move around in Afghanistan with ease. In Afghanistan, these documents function like Pakistani ID cards.

Giving the security situation in that country, it is very difficult for these people [terrorists] to move in Afghanistan without these documents.

These people would contact Afghan and Indian security forces before moving anywhere in the country. They [enemy forces] used to grant them [TTP cadres] passage [inside Afghanistan] and guide their infiltration into Pakistan.

Since Pakistan Army destroyed several Jamaat-ul-Ahrar camps in Parchinar and Lalpura and killed many of their commandoes in its ongoing operation, they’ve had to flee the area and abandon their stronghold(s). Due to this, the morale of their commanders and their senior leadership has been shaken.

There are people in those camps who have had enough, who want to quit [terrorism]. I want to send out a message to them. Please stop the militancy and come to path of peace!

After ban on electronic media, TTP started to use social media to trap youngsters through their malicious propaganda.

I appeal to the youngster not to be trapped by the propaganda of TTP!

In remarks made to a private TV channel on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said: “His [Ehsan] confessional statement is crucial. Pakistan will raise his confessions with the Afghan government.”

 

 

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