Eliminating IS

A tri-partite meeting of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States, held in Kabul, expressed the determination to continue fight against terrorism and eliminate IS (Daesh) from the region. The three countries agreed that the objective can best be achieved through information sharing, complementary efforts and enhanced cooperation.
Pakistan has been insisting that there is no organised presence of IS on its soil but some terror incidents have been claimed and linked to the terror outfit. However, some analysts believe that IS is gradually spreading its tentacles in South Asia but they say it would face challenges in establishing its footholds as it would not be as easy as it happened in the Middle-East. They point out that relative political stability, softer sectarian divisions, stronger state defence institutions, and markedly different politico-economic structures and socio-cultural contexts do not provide IS conducive environment to successfully infiltrate the region. However, going by the fact that the terrorist group successfully organised itself in ME and offered tough resistance to combined forces of local governments and their foreign allies, one cannot say with hundred percent surety that the threat would not raise its ugly head in South Asia especially when no one knows for sure who is behind it and who is providing financing, weapons and training to IS to offer resistance and mount formidable attacks on rivals. It is also questionable as to how the group is securing support for its ideology and practices, which are fundamentally against true teachings and spirit of Islam. In this backdrop, reports of IS taking roots in ungoverned areas of Afghanistan are worrisome as from there it could mount attacks against other countries including Pakistan. Therefore, coordination and cooperation in rooting out the threat would be the right choice but it has to be seen whether the United States and Afghanistan act firmly to credible information about presence of IS in Afghanistan. It is also to be borne in mind that threat of radicalisation cannot be addressed merely by use of force and as such there should be focus on winning hearts and minds as well.

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