Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesman of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who now works as part of a TTP team of fighters led by Commander Omar Khalid Khorasani, has created a new Facebook ID under the name Sajjad Momand.
Omar Khalid Khorasani is the TTP’s emir for Mohmand Agency. Following the appointment of Maulana Fazlullah as the new emir of TTP, Khorasani’s video statements have appeared without the TTP logo, leading to speculation that he might be unhappy over not being named to succeed Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike on November 1, 2013.
The Facebook handle is “/ehsan.ttp” and the account holder’s name appears as “Sajjad Momand (Ehsanullah Ehsan).” On November 28, it posted a statement on the appointment of General Raheel Sharif by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, noting that the government demonstrated “wisdom” by not appointing Lt.-Gen. Haroon Aslam, who was the second-in-line to be appointed.
The November 28 post reads: “As the Muslims of Pakistan know that the military occupying Pakistan which is known as ‘Pak [literally pious, but also short for Pakistan] army,’ the task before this army was to protect Pakistan and the inhabitants of Islam. However, this apostate army, leaving its objectives and ideology, began a new era of atrocities on Muslims in defense and persistence of anti-Islam ideologies, which is continuing till date. Yesterday a new chief of this army [General Raheel Sharif] was appointed but the senior [Haroon Aslam] resigned in disagreement with this decision.
“This act demonstrates that it is an army of falsehood, is hungry for power, is insincere towards the ‘Ideology of Pakistan’; rather it is worried about establishing its kingship. On the other hand, [Prime Minister] Nawaz Sharif demonstrated wisdom. If he had appointed General Haroon Aslam, the murderer of the Muslims [i.e. the Taliban fighters] of Swat, as the army chief, then all wishes for talks with the government would have died. As a result of this action [of not appointing Haroon Aslam], we will think again.”
The expression “ideology of Pakistan” refers to the idea that Muslims and Hindus (or non-Muslims) cannot live together, which led to a movement for the creation of Pakistan.
The Facebook account was created on July 26, when it posted several images of Ehsanullah Ehsan (also spelt as Ihsanullah Ihsan). Over the next few days, it posted a video of Omar Khalid Khorasani and several local Taliban fighters killed by the Pakistani security forces. In an image posted on September 7, Ehsanullah Ehsan is shown riding a horse in the Pakistani tribal region (see image below). In an image posted, it carried Urdu text saying “Hind [India] is ours.”
From September-November, the account posted several statements and videos from Omar Khalid Khorasani, reports about the killings of Maulana Waliur Rehman and Hakimullah Mehsud in U.S. drone strikes, a November 12 statement agreeing to debate with the anti-Taliban clerics of Sunni Ittehad Council regarding their stance that the Taliban’s campaign cannot be called jihad and that slain Taliban leaders are not martyrs, a November 15 image showing Ehsanullah Ehsan among a group of armed guards, statements condemning U.S. drone strikes, and more.
Source: Facebook.com/ehsan.ttp, November 28, 2013