Islamic State is expanding to Islamic Republic of Pakistan

ISIS wall chalking in Quetta

Recent articles published in the US media are giving the impression that Islamic State, with a global Jihadi appeal, is struggling hard to get a foothold in Pakistan but the authors of these articles are either downplaying the tell tale signs or the articles lack the necessary framework in which emerging terror organizations flourish.

As the Taliban lose steam as a result of the death of their supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar and splintering and internal fighting, stage is set for a new group to take over. A cursory look at the metamorphosis of Jihadi organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past two decades indicate that they are getting deadlier, sophisticated and high tech savvy with every passing year; from Mujahideen groups willing to negotiate to Taliban willing to blow up and finally to Islamic State willing to behead innocent people. This is a worrying development not only for the South Asian region but for the entire world as well.

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Who is issuing Taliban visas?

Imran Khan

Imran Khan told Hamid Mir today during his programme that a senior Taliban commander was treated at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore. With Imran Khan’s history of openly supporting the Taliban, many immediately took this news as more proof of the PTI chief’s ‘Taliban Khan’ moniker. However, doctors are correctly pointing out that treatment is given to any patient without asking about their religion or politics. In Afghanistan, wounded Taliban militants are even treated next to Afghan soldiers. Therefore, the question is not why a Imran Khan’s hospital treated a Taliban commander, but why he was not treated in Afghanistan but rather in Lahore.  Continue reading

Why are we celebrating the fall of Kunduz?

Pakistani newspaper writes "America cries, another victory for Taliban"

Afghan forced backed by NATO are reported to have regained control of Kunduz after a three day battle with Taliban fighters. This comes as a disappointment to many of our own countrymen who celebrated reports that Taliban had seized control of the major Afghan city on Monday. This is deserving of reflection. Why are so many of us celebrating advances by Taliban fighters even while we are locked in a battle to the finish with Taliban ourselves? The answers offer important clues to the root of our troubles and, possibly, provide some hope for a solution.

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Murree Talks: Cutting Through the Spin

taliban leaders

Negotiations between Taliban and Afghan government are being heralded as a breakthrough in a war that has lasted since nearly 15 years. The breakthrough is also a moment of shining for Pakistan who has done what many feared was impossible, bringing the Taliban to talks. Along with declining terror attacks, this is the backdrop for Gen Raheel’s gushing statement terming Pakistan as a nation “on the rise“. However, once one cuts through the feel-good spin, the picture becomes a lot less rosy.

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Another Frankenstein’s Monster

Nawaz Sharif met Afghan warlords and religious leaders at his residence during Afghan peace talks in 1993

Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel declared victory in the war on terrorism this week, giving an official statement that “ours is a collective national victory against terrorism“. This is not the first time that we may have prematurely declared victory against terrorism, and now other breaking reports suggest it may not be the last time, either.

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