ISIS arrives in Pakistan

Sometimes poise and confidence is all you require to fool everyone.  Unfortunately, it was just a couple of weeks ago when the interior minister categorically refused the existence of ISIS in Pakistan. And then just a few hours ago my eyes got glued to anominousstory published by an international wire service negating what the minister had said.

Not only was the presence of ISIS members traced in Pakistan, it was allegedly a local commander that was detained by the authorities. There were two other accomplices as well, trying to recruit fighters to be thrown into the furnace of Syrian war.

All three men including the supposed leader Yousaf Al Salafi were caught in Lahore. Salafi has been reported to be a Pakistani-Syrian who travelled through Turkey and landed in Pakistan five months ago. 

The news has come at a time when the US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Pakistan subsequently resulting in the ban on the once ‘good Taliban’ Haqqani Network and the other shady organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa finally making it to the list of proscribed outfits. 

Although the interior ministry denies the presence of any possible connection between John Kerry’s recent visit and the announcement,who can be naïve enough not to know why the Haqqani Group is among the most wanted militant groups for USA?

The group once formed by Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani has been blamed a number of times by the US for attacks in Afghanistan. Although the Haqqani Network was banned by US back in 2012, double game of appeasing some and condemning other Taliban prevented Pakistan from banning the organization. 

We must not forget that Taliban, Haqqanis and the Jamat-ud-Dawa are remnants of the Afghan–USSR war. The rise of ISIS is another similar menace in the making. The monster might have reached the Pakistani borders but it surely it yet to claw into our social fiber.

Can we expect to act differently than we did at the end of the Soviet war? Would it be wise to expect a swifter and more comprehensive plan to take this menace by the horns and dispense with right away or is the only road to temporary sanity more bloodshed?

Going back to the enlightening words of our Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar; the nation was once again given a placebo pill – an insult to injury. We have to keep reminding our collective conscience that Pakistan has lost 70,000 individuals to this war on terrorism and thought that the final nail in the coffin was the APS carnage. 

In case any minister wants to put the nation at peace through sharing obsolete information, they are requested to understand the repercussions. If the authorities are aware of suspicious persons carrying out mischievous acts and still being present at large, the news must be conveyed to the common citizens.  There cannot be police on patrol all the time, but such individuals can be denied access to safe havens in the country by creating awareness among the masses.  Pakistanis after battling with the phantoms of ‘mujahideen’ and the mercenaries under various garbs from the Soviet war, have no desire whatsoever to relive the horror.

All the POPAs (Protection of Pakistan Ordnances) and NationalAction Plans against terrorism would prove to be of no use if the developing situation is not monitored meticulously and if action isn’t taken immediately.  

The military courts and the more aggressive plans of tackling with the nuisance of terrorism can only work out if we know and accept who our actual enemies are.  Concealing the facts is not going to bring peace to this land. And so, instead of letting the international media break the story of ISIS members being found and arrested in Pakistan, it would be much appreciated if the ministries stop misleading us all.

The untimely and gory repeat telecast of indirectly protecting the miscreants should end before the Haqqanis are replaced by the ISIS.

Geti Ara

Geti Ara is a story-teller, journalist and a documentary maker. Follow her on Twitter

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