Taliban militants are ‘enemies of Islam’: Former spokesman

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Taliban militants are ‘enemies of Islam’: Former spokesman

Islamabad, Apr 26 (PTI) A former Taliban spokesman, who the Pakistan military claims to have surrendered to them, has described the militant group as “enemies of Islam” and held it responsible for a series of attacks on schools, colleges and universities.

Pakistan Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor last week announced that Ehsanullah Ehsan, a top Jamaat-ul-Ahrar terror group leader, had turned himself in to security agencies. He did not share more details about the surrender.

However, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar issued a statement attributed to its new spokesman Asad Mansour claiming that Ehsan was captured on March 7 by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI from Afghanistan’s Paktika province, which borders Pakistan.

A known face of violence in Pakistan as former spokesman of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Ehsan joined ISIS linked Jamaat-ul-Ahrar after 2014 military operation ‘Zarb-e-Azb’.

The army toady issued Ehsan’s confessional video in which he said that the Taliban militants were enemies of Islam and asked the youth to stay away from them.

“These people misled people in the name of Islam, especially the youth, for their own ends,” he said and asked militants to stop fighting and return to Pakistan from Afghanistan.

He said that the Taliban militants were responsible for attacks at schools, colleges and universities in Pakistan.

Taliban militants conducted a terrorist attack on an army run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar in December 2014, killing nearly 150 people, mostly students.

In January, 2016, four gunmen opened fire at Bacha Khan University in the Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killing 22 students. A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ehsan also claimed that the Taliban militants fled to Afghanistan after operations in Pakistan’s tribal region and there they were supported by foreign intelligence agencies.

He said that Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) facilitated the Pakistani militants by issuing special identity cards called ‘Tazkira’ for their hassle-free movement in Afghanistan.

Ehsan said that his original name was Liaquat Ali and he was a former spokesperson of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and the Taliban. “My name is Liaquat Ali, aka Ehsanullah Ehsan and I belong to the Mohmand Agency,” he said in the video.

Ehsan said that he joined the TTP in 2008 when he was a college student and spent about nine years with the militants.

He also revealed that after former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed, a new succession struggle kicked off.

Finally Mullah Fazlullah was elected by drawing lots.

“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,” Ehsan said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.