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After days of official silence amid intense speculation, interior minister Brigadier retired Ejaz Shah has finally confirmed that the former spokesman of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has escaped from custody. This is the highest level of confirmation which will put all rumours to rest but will raise new questions on how the militant managed to escape.
The interior minister provided no further information and said that the news is true and the state is aware of his escape. When asked what efforts are being taken about the matter, he said that a lot is been done. The escaped militant had himself announced that he escaped by releasing an audio message on social media claiming that he was in Turkey. This has been debunked although he could be Afghanistan and away from the hands of security agencies.
Ehsan had surrendered to Pakistan’s security agencies over three years ago. He was expected to be tried for his crimes but all possible information was being extracted from him before he escaped. The militant also claimed that he had an agreement with the security agencies which was not being implemented. The silence by Pakistan’s government and military officials has raised even more questions.
Former DG ISPR Major had announced in 2017 that Ehsan had turned himself to security agencies. He had denied that a militant who has surrendered will be spared or given any deal but will rather be held accountable for his crimes. The army has used his arrest as proof that terrorists were on the retreat and were turning themselves in.
Ehsan was infamous for his involvement in a range of terrorist activities. He had himself claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala Yousafzai when the TTP held control over the Swat valley. He was also involved in the APS massacre, one of the most vicious attacks in which over 134 school children lost their lives. The victim’s families were the first to express concern over his escape and had even approached the court. They had been demanding exemplary punishment for him to deliver justice but Ehsan’s escape will compound their worries.
Now that the TTP spokesman’s escape has been confirmed, there should be an explanation over the circumstances in which the militant managed to get away. The nation deserves to be taken into confidence over the matter. There should be a complete investigation in this regard and efforts should be made to apprehend the escaped terrorist.