Former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan: Spy Agencies Of Pakistan And Tajikistan Reached Pact To Aid Proxies That 'Allows ISKP To Recruit New Members In Tajikistan Openly Due To Which ISKP Is Recruiting Suicide Bombers And Using Them In Neighboring Countries'

March 19, 2024

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

Former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan disappeared for a few years before reappearing in Turkey in February 2020.[1] Pakistani analysts speculated at the time that Ehsanullah Ehsan could not have travelled without a Pakistani passport and a Turkish visa.[2] Ehsan kept a low profile in Turkey, only occasionally talking to journalists.

In March 2024, Ehsan wrote an article for an Indian media outlet in which he took a pro-TTP and pro-Afghan Taliban position. The TTP considers itself a branch of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban). In the article, Ehsan says that Pakistani intelligence is aiding the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) against the Islamic Emirate, which appears to have turned against Pakistan, its former protector. According to Ehsan's article, Pakistani and Tajik intelligence agencies recently reached an agreement to protect ISKP and the Ahmad Massoud-led National Resistance Front (NRF) of Afghanistan in their fight against the Afghan Taliban.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, former TTP spokesman, is believed to be in Turkey

Following are excerpts from the article:[3]

"After The Current [Post-August 2021 Taliban] Government Of Afghanistan, The Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan Refused To Toe The Lines Of Pakistani Generals [Unlike During Its First Government In 1996-2001]"

"After the current [post-August 2021 Taliban] government of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan refused to toe the lines of Pakistani generals; these army generals have now initiated a proxy war against Afghanistan. However, unlike in the past, Pakistan has very few options that it can use to pressure the Afghan government in order to reach its goals.

"Long ago, Pakistan had militant groups established in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and after the withdrawal of Soviet Union these groups came under the control of Pakistan through which Pakistan created chaos in Afghanistan and enabled a paralyzed and pro-Pakistan [Taliban] government in Kabul.

"Looking at the current condition of Afghanistan, Pakistan has no option except to use the Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP), through which Pakistan wants to pressure the Afghan [Taliban] government in order to achieve its goals. This is happening because every other militant group was pushed and expelled from Afghanistan after Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took over the country.

"After deep meditation, Pakistani generals, in order to create insecurity and instability in Afghanistan, have practically begun working on a plan to use ISKP as its proxy in Afghanistan, which I have proven in my previous articles showing how Pakistan is providing safe houses and support to ISKP militants."

"After Fleeing From Afghanistan, [ISKP's Shadow Governor For Kunar Province] Ayoub Zareen Is Staying In Miskeeni Salarzo, A Village In Bajaur Agency, Pakistan, Under The Protection And Surveillance Of Pakistani Intelligence Agencies"`

"However, the ploy to use ISKP as a proxy for Pakistan has been substantially countered by the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI), the intelligence agency of the Islamic Emirate, due to which the objectives of the Pakistan army remain unfulfilled. Hence, the confused Pakistani generals are now exploring other ways to make this project effective.

"To put pressure on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and make ISKP more effective, the Pakistani government has struck up a friendship with Tajikistan, another Afghan neighbouring country, as the Pakistan army thinks that the expelled factions of Afghanistan are now being controlled by Tajikistan where they had sought asylum. The Pakistan army wants these factions and the ISKP to work together, as it will be useful for both countries.

"Organizing and putting together the proxies, a few meetings have been held between the Pakistani and Tajik intelligence agencies in recent days. Two initial meetings were held in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and the last meeting took place in Tajikistan when the delegation of the Pakistani intelligence agencies visited Tajikistan where a bilateral agreement was signed. Surprisingly, some key members of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan and Ayoub Zareen, ISKP's [shadow] governor for Kunar province, also took part in the mentioned meetings.

"Ayoub Zareen is originally from Asmaar district, Kunar, and was selected governor for Kunar province by ISKP. After fleeing Afghanistan, Ayoub Zareen is staying in Miskeeni Salarzo, a village in Bajaur agency, Pakistan, under the protection and surveillance of Pakistani intelligence agencies."

"According To The Agreement, In Northern Zone And Some Other Provinces Including Kabul, The National Resistance Front Of Afghanistan Will Find Targets While ISKP Will Provide Suicide Attackers To Encourage Insecurity"

"In the meeting between the Tajik and Pakistani intelligence agencies, an agreement has been signed under which both countries will boost their support with their proxies, ISKP and the National Resistance Front [NRF] of Afghanistan who are currently busy fighting the Afghan government and will cooperate with each other to increase insecurity in Afghanistan.

"According to the agreement, in the northern zone and some other provinces including Kabul, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan will find targets while ISKP will provide suicide attackers to encourage insecurity. Following the agreement Pakistan will give militaristic and financial support as well as protection to ISKP and Tajikistan will give similar support to the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan.

"It is worth mentioning that a section in the agreement allows ISKP to recruit new members in Tajikistan openly due to which ISKP is recruiting suicide bombers and using them in neighboring countries. Involvement of the Tajik citizens in recent attacks in Iran confirms the section. The attacks in Afghanistan in the last few months are also part of the Pakistan-Tajikistan joint plan.

"The agreement also calls for launching an effective campaign both on electronic and social media to defame Afghanistan and the Islamic Emirate internationally as well as domestically. Afghanistan's neighbors are signing kinds of dangerous agreements to weaken Afghanistan because they never want a stable and safe Afghanistan. They want Afghanistan to rely on them, but this time their dreams look impossible because the Islamic Emirate, one of the strongest governments of Afghanistan in its history, is governing Afghanistan with complete sympathy and support of the nation."


[3] March 17, 2024. The original English of the article has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

The full text of this post is available to subscribers.

Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI


The Cyber & Jihad Lab

The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

Read More