Pakistan rules out IS ‘presence’ on its soil

Foreign secretary says Islamabad is winning war against terrorism

Islamabad - Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry on Sunday ruled out the possibility of self-styled terrorist outfit Islamic State’s presence in Pakistan.
In an interview, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said no one will be allowed in the country to have links with Daesh.
He said Pakistan is fully capable of thwarting any threat of Islamic State also known as Daesh or any other extremist organisation.
The foreign secretary said Pakistan is winning the war against terrorism with full support of the nation.
Talking to newsmen here at the Foreign Office on the occasion of annual charity bazar organised by Pakistan Foreign Office Women's Association, he said Pakistan had been a victim of terrorism for the last many years.
Daish was a terrorist organisation and Pakistan was capable to face such threats, he said, adding no one in the country would be allowed to have any contact with the outfit.
He said Pakistan had taken a number of steps to curb terrorism and gave sacrifices to defeat the terrorists. The menace was now dying in the country due to effective steps taken by the government, he added.
He said the leadership of Pakistan showed courage, determination and resilience to face the menace of terrorism and emphasised the need for collective and joint efforts at global level in this regard. He said the people and the whole leadership of Pakistan was united and on one page to fight against terrorism,
Earlier, addressing the function, Aizaz Chaudhry while condemning the terrorists incident occurred in Paris emphasised the need for more cooperation and coordination at the global level to defeat terrorists and their mindset.
The foreign secretary said Pakistan has come out of the crisis due to resilience shown by the people of Pakistan and their leadership.
He especially appreciated the contribution and sacrifices of Pakistan Army for launching a successful operation to curb the menace of terrorism.
The foreign secretary said the leaders of Pakistan deserved credit for evolving consensus and unity to fight the terrorists and emphasised the need for better and effective cooperation and coordination at global level to tackle the menace of extremism and terrorism.
He said people and government of Pakistan strongly condemned the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that have resulted in the loss of more than 130 precious lives.
The foreign secretary said Pakistan stands with the victims of the terrorists attack in their hour of grief and pray for speedy recovery of the injured.
One-minute silence was also observed before the start of the function at Foreign Office to express solidarity and sympathies with those who lost their lives in the tragic incidents in Paris.
While Pakistan's official stance on presence of IS in the country has been outright denial, some traces of the militant group’s presence have come to the surface in recent times.
Reports of IS activity inside the country emerged in 2014 against the backdrop of two ongoing military operations against the TTP and its affiliates in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.
For the first time it appeared through wall chalkings in favour of the group, largely downplayed by local media and scoffed at by the establishment and the government. It was emerged later that a three-member IS delegation had reached Pakistan from Syria, prior to the Dec 16 Taliban attack on Peshawar's Army Public School.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Sunday said Pakistan abhors all manifestations of terrorism and extremism and stands firmly behind the people and the government of France in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris.
Addressing a function organised by the Foreign Office in Islamabad, Ayaz said Pakistan, itself a victim of terrorism for over a decade, shares the grief and pain of the French people.
Calling terrorism a common challenge for the modern human civilisation, he said such heinous attacks are not representative of any religion or moral system.
The National Assembly speaker called for joint global efforts to eradicate the evil of terrorism, adding that Pakistan has been bravely combating this menace, having undertaken extraordinary strategic measures.
Ayaz said Pakistan is willing to extend support to the global community in this fight.
While the movement getting support within the TTP ranks and other local militant factions, the lure of IS is also spreading across the country in other forms.
In January this year, security forces arrested a man they believed to be a commander of IS in Pakistan, as well as two accomplices involved in recruiting and sending fighters to Syria, charging IS about $600 per person.
On the other hand, the US and the European diplomats believed that Daesh has taken roots in the neibouring Afghanistan. It is operating at least in three provinces of Afghanistan.
Similarly, massive recruitments by the ISIS is still going on in some of the Central Asian Republics including Tajikistan. Diplomats from Central Asian Republics say that their governments have already launched efforts in their respective countries to stop recruitments by the ISIS. Some of the diplomats even believed that Russian intervention in Syria was also part of President Putin’s defence strategy to attack those recruited by the ISIS and were operating in Syria.

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