In a shocking incident, a Pakistani militant alleged to be responsible for shooting Nobel Laureate-activist Malala Yousafzai in the head in 2012 made another threat to her life using the microblogging site Twitter.
In a tweet that has since been removed, former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan tweeted "Come back home, we have a score to settle". Ehsan went on to add that "this time there will be no mistake".
A shocked Malala responded to the tweet.
"This is the ex-spokesperson of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan who claims responsibility for the attack on me and many innocent people. He is now threatening people on social media. How did he escape?" she wrote.
This is the ex-spokesperson of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan who claims responsibility for the attack on me and many innocent people. He is now threatening people on social media. How did he escape @OfficialDGISPR @ImranKhanPTI? https://t.co/1RDdZaxprs— Malala (@Malala) February 16, 2021
Malala was not the only one to express shock. Though Twitter removed Ehsan's account, many wondered how Ehsan was even allowed to have an account in the first place.
News of Ehsan's escape had surfaced in February last year when the man who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The incident was confirmed by Pakistan's Interior Minister Ijaz Shah who when asked by reporters for comment. The Pakistani military, however, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, declined to comment.
Ehsan was in prison not only for orchestrating the attack on Malala but also for carrying out the deadly Peshawar Army school terror attack in 2014. Since his escape, Ehsan has been interviewed and has communicated with Pakistani journalists via the same Twitter account that carried the Urdu-language threat. He has had more than one Twitter account, all of which have been suspended.
The government is investigating the threat and had immediately asked Twitter to shut down the account, said Raoof Hasan, an adviser to the prime minister.
Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, took a bullet to her head in 2012 for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan. After the attack, the Taliban released a statement saying that they would target Malala Yousafzai again if she survived.
Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, she moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.
Yousafzai, who currently lives in the United Kingdom, completed her degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Britain's prestigious Oxford University.(With inputs from Agencies