It was recently announced by ISPR that Ehsanullah Ehsan has surrendered himself to the Pak Army and now we have his partial video confessional statement. There has been some speculation how Ehsanullah Ehsan ended up in the custody of Pakistan and whether he surrendered willingly as ISPR said in its statement or was he captured in a Pakistani SpecOp in Afghanistan. The fact that Pakistan’s forces have been targeting TTP/JuA camps in Afghanistan recently and maybe even ventured inside Afghanistan in pursuit of terrorists, as reported by some local Afghan journalists, gives weight to the argument that maybe Ehsan was captured in an op. But this is just pure speculation at this point and there’s little to no solid evidence to back it up.
Ehsanullah Ehsan is just another piece in the puzzle of the grand hybrid war that has been waged on Pakistan primarily by India but also backed up in various ways by its allies like Kabul regime in Afghanistan, etc. Ehsanullah Ehsan served as the spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and later as a spokesperson of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. He has cheerfully accepted responsibility for hundreds of terrorist attacks in Pakistan in written and recorded audio statements. He has calmly justified the killings of innocent Pakistani civilians and Armed Forces in his fatwas. Ehsanullah Ehsan, by all means, is inhumane and a terrorist. That being said, it is also important to remember here that there are degrees of terrorism and while Ehsanullah Ehsan served as a spokesperson and a propagandist, he never carried out an attack on his own. Instead, he justified the attacks that were carried out by field terrorists, most of who didn’t receive orders by Ehsanullah Ehsan but by someone else, usually a commander or the Emir. Ehsanullah Ehsan has also provided Pakistan with priceless intelligence on his former brothers in TTP/JuA, which Pakistan has likely already used in the operations that it secretly carried out recently in Afghanistan. It is also rumoured that Pakistan may have provided intelligence that came from Ehsanullah Ehsan to U.S. for the MOAB strike on ISIS-K in Nangarhar, Afghanistan. The same MOAB strike that also left over a dozen Indians dead, about who questions are being raised in Pakistan that what were Indians doing with ISIS-K in Nangarhar. While India obviously says that the Indians killed in MOAB strike left India to join ISIS on their own, credible intelligence sources say that they were Indian intelligence operatives who were there to handle and train ISIS-K terrorists. At this point it is important to remember that ISIS-K consists of mostly Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants along with some Uzbeks, who were chased away from Pakistan during Operation Zarb-e-Azb. In reality, ISIS-K is nothing more than a rebranding of old groups and militants. These proxy groups are being used primarily by India and on a lesser extent by Afghan intelligence agency NDS against Pakistan.
If Ehsanullah Ehsan surrendered like the Pak Army says he does, it also means he probably surrendered after striking a deal which probably included assurance from Pakistan that he won’t be hanged in return for intelligence and shunning of militancy. If Ehsanullah Ehsan publicly shuns militancy and apologizes to Pakistani nation on LIVE tv, it is safe to say that he could be given a chance to eventually rehabilitate after serving his punishment and going through a deradicalization program. Ehsanullah Ehsan deserves no mercy, make no mistake about it. And this isn’t about mercy. This is about a state taking wise decisions. So far Ehsanullah Ehsan has served as a pawn of India. Now he must serve as a pawn of Pakistan. Imagine the same Ehsanullah Ehsan, who once defended Taliban and their attacks, starts playing a role in educating the Pakistani public about why his fellow TTP Taliban are wrong and why their ideology is not the real Islam. Ehsan could be instrumental in turning away radicalized Pakistani youth from TTP/JuA and similar groups. That will be a major blow to TTP’s and JuA’s credibility and their overall propaganda effort. This should be Ehsanullah Ehsan’s punishment because hanging him will be too lenient and won’t help Pakistan in a way that keeping him alive would. Keeping him alive will also help bring more possible defections from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which will not only bring a treasure trove of intelligence to Pakistan’s table while neutralizing Pakistan’s enemies without firing a bullet but will also break the morale of the remaining terrorists of TTP and JuA. In any case, the state will decide what should be done with Ehsanullah Ehsan. What should happen to Ehsanullah Ehsan shouldn’t distract us from the real story here that once again highlights the Indian hybrid war on Pakistan. In his confessional statement, Ehsanullah Ehsan vindicates what Pakistan has said about India-backed and Afghan facilitated terrorism for a long time and has been acknowledged by the likes of ex U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel but also by Indian NSA Ajit Doval himself, who has spent 7 years as a spy in Pakistan and is also the former Director of India’s Intelligence Bureau. Moreover, Ehsanullah Ehsan’s statement also confirms what Indian spy terrorist Kulbhushan Yadhav said about his activities against Pakistan which included financing and directing TTP terrorists. All this is unprecedented.
Now it all depends on Pakistan’s civilian leaders, who are too lazy to appoint a Foreign Minister, to present Pakistan’s case in front of the world for if these opportunities are lost, Pakistan may not get another opportunity to educate the world about the hybrid war that has been imposed on it and will continue to be seen as a perpetrator of terrorism instead of being seen as a victim of terrorism.