The use of non-state actors by Pakistan Army to forward its evil and hegemonic territorial expansionist designs is not a new phenomenon.
At its inception in August 1947, it only took two months for the Pakistan army to mobilise a tribal Lashkar led by Pakistan military officers to attack Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was conducted under the false pretext that Hindus in the Valley have begun to massacre Muslims who have risen in revolt against the then ‘Hindu’ Maharaja Hari Singh.
They were defeated and pushed back only after the Indian army arrived to protect the state, which was made possible only after the Maharaja had signed the instrument of accession with India.
Pakistan army lost but Indian territories of west Jammu and Gilgit-Baltistan remain under the illegal occupation of the Pakistani army to this day. Fast forward and Pakistan army is still using non-state actors as its proxies in the Valley of Kashmir to stir disturbance.
From Hurriyat Conference to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and from Lashkar-e-Toiba to Jaish-e-Muhammad and most recently The Resistance Front, Pakistan persistently has been recruiting, training, funding and facilitating terrorist infiltration across the world including the Valley of Kashmir.
One of the reasons that Pakistan has been put off the grey list of anti-terror funding, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is its inability to present enough evidence regarding her efforts in curbing jihadist terrorism. Hence, in order to distance herself from `jihadi’ terrorism, the Pakistan army has come up with the idea of setting up new seemingly ‘non-terrorist’ political organisations as well as camouflage terrorist personalities with different roles.
One such organisation is the newly formed organisation the so-called no political “The Resistance Front” (TRF) in Kashmir Valley.
However, it is already in public knowledge that the TRF is a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit initiated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Gestapo of Pakistan.
One individual by the name of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan that Pakistan is now grooming as its new accomplice in Pakistan’s role in global jihad. Who is Ehsan Ullah?Remember the attack on the Wagah border in 2014 in which 60 people were killed and over 100 injured? The attack on Malala Yousafzai in 2012 in Peshawar? This evil man masterminded these. Not only that but he also claimed responsibility for the killing of the home minister of Punjab in Lahore Col Shujaat Khanzada in 2015.
Then again in 2016, he claimed the bombing of Christians in a church in which 100s lost their lives.
Well, this man was arrested in 2017 after he laid down arms and was kept under house arrest in Hayatabad near Peshawar. However, in January 2020 he managed to escape and was reported to have landed in Turkey.
Ehsan Ullah’s escape could not have been possible without the complicity of the Pakistani military establishment.
The on February 6, 2020, an audio clip surfaced on a twitter account @EhsanOfficial38, which was created back in January 2020. The voice in the audio clip claimed to be that of Ehsan.
In the audio clip, Ehsan claimed that he had escaped from the captivity of Pakistani security forces on January 11, 2020, because Pakistan (allegedly) failed to keep her promises made during the surrender in 2017.
On February 14, 2020, the same twitter account was used to share a document which describes the conditions of Ehsan’s surrender including legally quashing of all cases against him, that his security would be the government’s responsibility, that he would be allowed to use mobile phone and internet and a provision of financial assistance was also mentioned.
Let me remind you that at the time of his surrender Ehsan Ullah Ehsan was on Pakistan’s most wanted list of terrorists carrying a bounty of one million dollars on his head. Ehsan Ullah Ehsan hails from Momand Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region.
He joined Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in January 2008. Initially, he was a spokesperson for the TTP section of Momand Agency and later became the central spokesperson of TTP.
In June 2013, he was removed from his post for making comments against the Afghan Taliban. In Aug 2014, Ehsan Ullah, along with other former commanders of the TTP, formed a new jihadi terrorist group by the name of Jamat Ul Ahrar, (JuA).
Ehsan Ullah was appointed the central spokesperson of JuA. He had claimed attacks on behalf of TTP till June 2013 but August 2014 onwards for JuA.
On April 19, 2017, addressing a press conference, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the then Director-General of the military public relations department known as the ISPR, announced that Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, had surrendered himself to Pakistan Army and later on April 26, 2017, in a confessional video statement released by ISPR, Ehsan Ullah claimed that TTP had been getting funding from foreign intelligence services spreading terrorism in Pakistan!Ehsan Ullah is currently using @Ehsanofficial32 twitter handle to criticise Pakistan establishment for its failure to honour its commitments. However, based on the forensic analysis of his twitter handle, it is now believed that contrary to his claims to be residing in Turkey, Ehsan Ullah is currently located in Islamabad.
My assessment is that Ehsan Ullah is still under the patronage of the Pakistan Army / ISI and his criticism of Pakistani establishment is part of a well-planned strategy by the Pakistan army and the ISI. It seems they are making an effort to establish Ehsan Ullah’s credibility as an anti-Pakistan figure and later use him to discredit the present Afghan government by claiming the latter’s involvement in violent activities in Pakistan.
In today’s changing global political climate and Pakistan’s fearing of slipping from grey into the blacklist of FATF, the evil body of Pakistan army, that survives and thrives on the manufacture and export of non-state actors (read jihadi terrorists) has launched its terrorist activities by rebranding them. The Resistance Front and Ehsan Ullah Ehsan are fresh examples of terrorism manufactured and exported by Pakistan army, which has a proxy for all seasons.
(Disclaimer: Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.) (ANI)