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Ex-Taliban spokesman, responsible for attacks on Malala, appeals to Imran Khan to rescue family


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KABUL: Former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who escaped from the custody of Pakistani security agencies in February this year, has accused the Pakistan Army of kidnapping ten members of his family.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Imran Khan, a copy of which IANS accessed, the former Taliban militant said, the Pakistan army kidnapped ten members of my family, "detaining them in an unknown location for the past three months, and without regard for the laws of Pakistan."

Incidentally, before Imran Khan got elected, he was a vocal critic of Pakistan Army's counter-insurgency campaign and US drone strikes against Taliban. He was seen as a sympathizer of Taliban and shared a very good relationship with the militant group.

Ehsanullah, held responsible for terror attacks on Malala Yousafzai and Peshawar Army Public school, had surrendered before Pakistan Army three years ago. But in February, according to sources, he was set free by the Pakistani security establishment in lieu of credible information he provided against other Pakistani militants.

After his escape, the former Taliban official claimed that as per the pact between the two sides, the Pakistan Army and ISI had promised not only to rebuild Ehsanullah's destroyed house in his native village, but also committed to not subject him to any torture and instead give him a safe place and protection, (Pakistani) Rs 1 crore and permission to use a cell phone and internet.

In the letter to PM Khan, Ehsanullah introduced himself as Liaqat Ali and revealed that after he quit violence in 2017 and signed a peace treaty with the Pakistan Army (MI). "I was given a guarantee that all resources would be used to support me to live a peaceful life but the promises made were unfortunately not kept. I was imprisoned in a house with my family for three years until we were left with little option but to escape because of our uncertain future."

Following his departure, Ehsanullah said, the Pakistan Army attacked his father's house in Mohmand district and abducted his father Sher Mohammad and brother Asad Shafiq. Two of his brothers, Hashmat Khan and Shaukat Khan were arrested from their shop in Chitral. In addition, the army kidnapped, his uncle, cousin, brother-in-law and a friend from their homes, he said.

"They have all been detained in some prison for the past three months but I do not know where they are being held," the former militant said adding that no case was filed against his father nor was he brought before any court.

None of his relatives and friends, he said, had anything to do with any of his actions. Revealing that his brother and cousin were part of Imran Khan's party "Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and a member of the cabinet of Safi Tehsil, Ehsanullah appealed to the Prime Minister to ensure justice for his citizens.

"I don't want any sympathy from you personally but those arrested have no role in any illegal activities. I appeal to you as a man of faith, please take notice of these illegal arrests," he wrote adding that Pakistan is required to follow a process of law.

Anyone detained, he said, must be given an open and fair trial to establish innocence or guilt. "To keep a person without establishing guilt is cruel and immoral," he said in his letter to Prime Minister Khan.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)