- IS a threat to common security
Apr 25, 2018-While a number of violent militias and terrorist groups have been active in Afghanistan, the militant Islamic State group is emerging as one of the most savage outfits operating in that war-torn country. On Sunday, IS claimed responsibility for an attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul’s Dasht-i-Barchi area causing around 60 fatalities and injuring nearly 100. According to UN figures over 750 people have been killed or maimed in militant attacks between January and March. And while more ‘established’ actors such as the Afghan Taliban have played a major role in this violence, they have been challenged by IS, which has begun to expand its footprint in the region. The rise of IS in Afghanistan must not be taken lightly, for unlike the Afghan Taliban, who are more nationalist, IS is an expansionist pan-Islamic concern, which wants to create a revived ‘caliphate’. While it has suffered heavy defeats in Syria and Iraq, IS appears to have regrouped amidst the lawlessness in Afghanistan. Perhaps it is imperative for Islamabad, Kabul and other regional capitals to forge a sustainable counterterrorism plan to root out the group before it replicates what it did in the Levant. This may be difficult to carry out, considering the level of mistrust that exists between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, both states must realise that IS is a threat to their common security.
Published: 25-04-2018 07:58