Accompanied by an independent lawmaker from FATA, PPP On Monday asked the government to provide explanation about the “mysterious escape” of Ehsanullah Khan – former spokesperson of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) from the custody of a security agency. They demanded the matter to be referred for investigation to a parliamentary committee.
The independent MNA Mohsin Dawar who is backed by the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement raised the issue while speaking in the National Assembly on a point of order. Afterwards PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar took up the matter by questioning and highlighting the government’s silence over the said issue. Only few ministers were present at time of discussion by the 2 MNAs and they chose to remain silent
The matter was resumed for discussion after break for Maghrib prayers. At that time PTI’s MNA Imran Khatak was presiding the session since both speaker and deputy speaker were absent. “Lawmakers are asking for parliamentary investigation” ; Bilawal asked how the master mind of APS tragedy and Malala attack could escape from the country.
“Clearly explain whether it is deal or security breach”, asks Naveed Qamar
Mr Qamar said, “How can you sweep the issue of the escape of Ehsanullah Ehsan under the carpet?” He added that government should explain the nation whether the release is because of some deal or the culprit has successfully slipped from the security agency’s hands.
He added, “Tell us even if you have a deal with the US”. He reminded the session about the publicity that PTI’s government did at the time he was captured and claimed that they had succeeded to nab an “international criminal”. He also asked, “What will be your answer if a question about it is raised at the FATF meeting? What kind of a state we are running?”
Mr Qamar classified the matter to be a serious security breach, saying that if Ehsanullah Ehsan could escape from the “highest security cover”, then the situations demand a high “level of alertness”.
“What is safe (in the country)?” the PPP legislator gave remarks and asked the chair to either constitute a special committee for investigating the matter or refer the matter to the concerned house committee. In all cases the parliament has the rights to be informed about the facts. He also suggested that the committee should meet in camera since the matter is highly sensitive. “The sanctity of the house demands that parliament should be taken into confidence. Do not bypass the parliament”, said Qamar.
Mohsin Dawar put questions in relation with arrest and detention of Ehsanullah
Previously, Dawar had placed 3 questions before the government in connection with the reported escape of the former TTP spokesperson.
1) In which case, Ehsanullah Ehsan had been arrested?
2) Before which court was he presented?
3) In which prison had he been detained?
He regretted that the matter could be discussed few days ago however it was delayed due to no explanation by the government.
In reply to the MNAs demands about the committee Mr Khatak responded that he can decide on basis of response by the government. PPP law maker Abdul Qadir Patel informed the chair about lack of quorum since all the opposition members left the house when Mr Qadir was not given the floor. The chair at first suspended the proceedings for a short time and then adjourned the sitting till Tuesday evening for a debate on country’s economic situation by the assembly.
PPP chairman Bilawal blamed government for ““incompetence and failure” on account of escape of Ehsanullah. He asked, “How a person facing charges of attacks on the Army Public School (APS) and Malala Yousafzai can flee the country?” “The government will have to give a reply. Was it in complicit or incompetent?” Calling it a “failure of the state”, he asked how the government would be facing the victims of terrorism in the country.
He said, “Why was no JIT formed for the APS tragedy? The affected of the tragedy are still demanding a judicial commission. How can we tell the international community that we are combating terrorism when the biggest terrorist of the country has fled the country?”