DEPUTY High Commissioner of UK John Tucknott has sounded a timely warning that the so-called Islamic State (IS) is now focussing on Pakistan after destroying the culture of Iraq. Speaking at a function in Karachi the other day the British diplomat cautioned that the infiltration of the IS in the country may cause major dent to the great civilisation.
Diplomats never utter words without specific information and we believe that John Tucknott might have certain intelligence based cue which prompted him to warn about the dangers in a definitive way. Though the Foreign Office and the security establishment have denied presence of IS in Pakistan but there are some factors like wall chalking and statements that IS is new version of al-Qaeda and trying to establish its foothold in the country which should be looked into very seriously. It is note worthy that certain terrorists who were associated with banned TTP had in the recent past announced their joining of the IS and they might have done so after establishing contacts with the militant group in Iraq. There have been other signs of IS flexing its muscles in the region. In late September, a pamphlet apparently issued by the self-proclaimed caliphate was distributed among Afghan refugees in Pakistan exhorting them to pledgeallegiance and lashing out against America and its allies. So there is need to thoroughly probe all the suspects having some links with militant organisations to nip the evil in the bud before it becomes another monster as Pakistan can ill afford to have such a dangerous organisation while it is already busy in eliminating the menace of extremism and terrorism. An effective response to counter the IS would be sharing of intelligence with international spy agencies to know its specific motivations, objectives, capacities and modus operandi.