ISIS gains foothold in Pakistan with the name ISIS-K (Walayat-e-Khurasan ) for South Asia

ISIS-K gains foothold in Pakistan

Washington : Islamic State has gained a substantial foothold in Pakistan as many splintered outfits, youths believing in the ideology of Jihad have integrated into the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria known as Walayat-e-Khurasan (ISIS-K) for South Asia.

In April 2017, a female Islamic State recruit named Noreen Laghari was arrested following a law enforcement agency’s raid in Lahore, shortly before she planned to blow herself up in a Christian church.

The 19-year-old medical student at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in the southern province of Sindh had been missing since she joined the Islamic State in February. Via Facebook, she told her worried parents that she was in “Syria to get training for jihad” and that they should stop searching for her, the Washington Times reported.

Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Hussein Haqqani and Human Rights activist Pervez Hoodbhoy are concerned over the rising cases of ISIS as several Islamist terrorist organizations have already taken advantage of the country’s fragile situation and there were reports of many Pakistani nationals of travelling to Syria for joining Islamic State.

“Pakistan mainstreams terrorists, Almost every global terror group and terrorist has a link to Pakistan, from al Qaeda to ISIS. This is a function of a state policy which defines Pakistan’s identity in Islamic terms, glorifies jihad and sanctions terrorism,” the Washington Times quoted Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States as saying.

But Pakistan authorities are least concerned about national security and released Laghari a month after they apprehended her. She has since become a familiar presence in extremist circles.

Laghari confessed about her plans of attacking churches, but the military officials said that she wasn’t technically guilty because she was caught before she could detonate a suicide bomb.

“We saved her in time from becoming a terrorist,” said Major General Asif Ghafoor, director general of the army’s public relations office. “If Noreen Laghari was my daughter or your daughter, would we not save her?”

Human rights activist Pervez Hoodbhoy said that Laghari’s case exposed how Pakistani officials defined national security too narrowly.

“It would have been different if Noreen Laghari had said she had been recruited by [the Indian intelligence service]. In that case, no punishment would have been too severe,” the Washington Times quoted Hoodbhoy, a physics professor at Forman Christian College in Islamabad, as saying. “But with Islamic State it was a case of ‘friendly fire.’ A crime, or intent to commit a crime, is pardonable if it was done using the name of religion.”

“Pakistan’s political landscape is already unstable. Nawaz Sharif was recently forced to step down as the Prime Minister because of corruption charges stemming from the Panama Papers revelations. Sympathy toward terrorist groups only adds more volatility to the mix,” Haqqani stated.

In July 2017, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. forces have killed Abu Sayed, the leader of ISIS-Khorasan, the terror group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

The “Emir” of ISIS-K was killed “in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, July 11,” Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said in a statement.

Source : Business Standards

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