April 26, 2017
ISLAMABAD — A central leader and ex-spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has alleged Afghan security forces and their intelligence agency, NDS, together with the Indian spy agency are supporting cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistan.
The militant leader in a video confessional statement released by the Pakistan Army, said he was also participating in anti-state activities from sanctuaries on the Afghan side of the border and surrendered himself “voluntarily” to Pakistan army.
There was no immediate reaction from the Afghan government and Indian officials to the allegation leveled by Ehsan against them, though both Kabul and New Delhi have previously denied Islamabad’s allegations of funding terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil.
When Pakistani security forces unleashed counter-militancy operations in the border region of North Waziristan (in June, 2014), Ehsan said militants fled to neighboring Afghanistan where they established contacts with the Afghan intelligence agency, NDS (National Directorate of Security), and through them with operatives of the Indian spy agency, RAW (Research and Analysis Wing).
“They supported them (Pakistani Taliban), funded them, and even assigned possible targets [for attacks in Pakistan],” Eshan asserted, adding that anti-Pakistan militants have established their “special committees” in Afghanistan for maintaining contacts with the NDS.
He went on to allege that the Afghan spy agency also issued national identification cards, called ‘tazkira,’ to members of the Pakistani Taliban to facilitate their infiltration into Pakistan to undertake subversive activities in the country.
A Pakistan military spokesman announced last week that Ehsan surrendered himself to security forces but would not say where and how they got hold of the militant leader.
Pakistani officials have described his arrest/surrender as a major success in counter terrorism operations and hope information gleaned from Ehsan will help further degrade Pakistani Taliban’s activities in the country.
Before surrendering to authorities, Ehsan was mainly acting as spokesman for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction of the Pakistan Taliban.
He claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for a number of deadly attacks in Pakistan, including an Easter suicide bombing of a crowded park in Lahore that killed killed at least 70 people, including Christians and Muslims.
It was not clear from the video whether Ehsan was speaking under duress.
The United States last year designated Jamaat-ul-Ahrar as a terrorist group for claiming responsibility for attacking a U.S. diplomatic mission in northwestern Pakistan.