Published On: Sat, Jan 9th, 2016

Daesh presence in Pakistan

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Earlier the footprints of Daesh were denied in Pakistan by senior officials by saying that “There is no footprint of Daesh in Pakistan. We will also not tolerate anyone affiliated with it,” by Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah. But now the recent reports of the arrests of numerous militants linked with Daesh or the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from Sindh and Punjab has ignited the issue that a Balochistan-based militant is probable to presume the charge as Daesh’s chief in Pakistan.

Haji Sahib, the militant commander, is in continuous touch with his counterparts in Afghanistan. He is the Balochistan-based contractor of militants in Pakistan and works with his Afghanistan-based leadership and brother of Ramzi Yousef, who was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, the bombing of Philippine Airlines flight 434 and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot.

While there are different viewpoints of experts regarding the presence of Daesh in Pakistan, some confirm and some refuse the same information on similar grounds. As Qazi Khalilullah, while commending the Paris assaults stated that security forces were on full alert to counter the terrorist groups in Pakistan and Pakistan was cooperating with the international community in combating terrorism. He continued by saying that Terrorism cannot be associated with any religion. On the other hand army chief General Raheel Sharif also said that Pakistan would not allow ‘even a shadow’ of Daesh, adding that Daesh has larger intimidation than al Qaeda.

Expert SSP Malir Rao Anwar said that there was no notion of militancy in Balochistan since the nationalists were not supposed to be religiously rigid. He added that Haji Sahib would be assuming the charge as Daesh’s Pakistan chief abruptly, but confidently it would be nearly impracticable for him to lengthen operations of Daesh in Pakistan in the presence of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Whereas Raja Umer Khattab who is a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) official discarded the growth by saying that there was a disparity in the ideologies of both ISIS and al Qaeda.

About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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