India on Wednesday dismissed the allegations made by former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsaan (pictured above left) that intelligence agencies in New Delhi and Afghanistan funded Taliban militants to wage war against Islamabad. India said there was no credibility to the claims, reported ANI.
Afghanistan, too, has refuted the allegations. A senior Afghan security official told Reuters that it was a “spin” by Islamabad. “Pakistan has always been pushing this narrative of being a victim of terrorism, while the fact is it sponsors and supports terrorist activities in Afghanistan and India,” the official said.
The reactions came after the Pakistan military released a “confessional” video of Ehsaan, whose real name is Liaquat Ali, in which he claimed that Indian intelligence body, the Research and Analysis Wing, provided funding and other assistance to the outfit. “The TTP leadership got their support, their funding and took money for every activity they did [from India]. They pushed TTP soldiers on the front lines to fight against the Pakistani Army and went into hiding themselves,” Ehsan said in the six-minute clip released by the Pakistani military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations.
The Taliban spokesperson further claimed that Afghanistan helps TTP members and other militants acquire Pakistani identity cards, and that the country’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, helps them get in touch with New Delhi’s RAW. “These [militant] organisations have their committees in Afghanistan, through which they communicate with NDS and through it, RAW. NDS gives them documents to easily move around in Afghanistan,” he added, according to Dawn.
Ehsan, who had also served as the spokesperson for TTP’s faction group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, had surrendered to the Pakistani Army last week, according to ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor. He said he had left the militant group because at some point, he realised that the “leadership was functioning to serve its own interest and agendas”.
The video comes at a time when relations between India and Pakistan are on a downward spiral. Bilateral ties were further worsened by the recent death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage. Islamabad has denied New Delhi’s request for consular access to Jadhav 16 times so far.