Islamic State — Daesh the creping menace  | By Prof Tariq Aqil 


Islamic State — Daesh the creping menace

WE have lived through the holocaust created by the followers of fundamentalist philosophy and believers in the rule of Sharia and the establishment of an Islamic State.

Organizations like the TTP, Al-Qaeda, Hizb-i-Tehreer, Lashkar-i-Taiba, Jaish-i-Mohammed and many others have a common goal that is to turn Pakistan into a theocratic state based on Sharia.

The aim of the religious fanatics became a reality when the Valley of Swat and Malakand was legally and constitutionally handed over to the blood thirsty Mulla of the Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Shariate-Mohammadi called Sufi Mohammed and his son in law Maulvi Fazalullah who later on became the head of the TTP.

It was only after the gory and tragic incident of the APS in Peshawar that a serious operation was launched by the army to take down the evil perpetrators of terror and mayhem based on religion.

Lurking in the shadows with a lot of local support is another terror outfit claiming to be soldiers of Allah called the Islamic State or Daesh in Arabic.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh is a militant Islamic group following the Sunni Jehadi doctrine of the Salafi school of thought.

Founded in 1999 by the Salafi Jehadist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and very rapidly gained global recognition and prominence in 2014 when it managed to defeat the Iraqi forces and occupied some key areas in Iraq specially the capture of key cities like Mosul.

This organization has been classified as a terrorist organization by the United Nations because of its belief and practice of terror tactics.

ISIS has very proudly claimed responsibility for beheading of soldiers and civilians, journalists and aid workers and the destruction of cultural heritage sites in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda and played a major role in the Iraqi insurgency after the American-led invasion in 2003.

In June 2014 the group proclaimed a worldwide caliphate and vowed to establish the rule of Sharia all over the Middle East and then over the entire world.

Syria has been another major area of operations of this terror outfit where during the chaos of an ongoing civil war it has conducted massive attacks on the government forces and the opposition factions and by 2015 it was in control of an area extending from western Iraq to Eastern Syria populated by eight to twelve million people.

It is believed to be operational in 18 countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In 2015 Daesh was estimated to have an annual budget of US dollars One billion and a fighting force of over thirty thousand trained indoctrinated and experienced fighters.

By mid-2014 the international community woke up to the dangers posed by this terror group and a coalition led by the USA was formed to intervene against ISIS in Iraq and Syria with an airstrike campaign to cripple the forces of ISIS.

They also agreed to supply weapons training and advisers to the enemies of ISIS that is the Iraqi security forces and the Syrian Army.

This resulted in massive damage to the command structure of ISIS and the death of thousands of its fighters, This was also followed by a smaller scale Russian intervention in Syria where ISIS suffered another loss by air strikes and Russian military ground attacks.

In July 2017 the Iraqi Army managed to capture the city of Mosul and soon after they lost their political capital Raqqa in Syria.

In October 2019 ISIS announced to the world that the new leader of ISIS is now Abu Ibrahim Al Hashmi Al Qurashi and this was after the death of Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi who killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during a raid by US forces on his stronghold in the Idlib province of Syria.

The government security and intelligence agencies insist that Daesh has no presence in Pakistan but there is considerable evidence that this terror outfit is hell bent on creating space for itself after the losses it suffered in Iraq and Syria.

Pakistan has a vast network of Deeni Madaris (over 35,000) across the length and breadth of the country.

These Madaris provided the cannon fodder and hard core fighters for the TTP, Al-Qaeda, Jaish-i-Mohammed and many other Religious Jihadi organizations.

These Madaris are a fertile recruiting ground for Daesh and its recruiting agents.

It is an open secret that Daesh has already established its local branch with the name of “Walayah of Pakistan” and they are actively attracting and luring militant fighters from the scattered terrorists and hard core fighters of the TTP, Al Qaeda and other Islamic Jihadi organizations that are on the run after the crackdown by our security forces.

Daesh has already proudly claimed responsibility in two terrorist attacks in Balochistan.

The local militants in search of new pastures are now collecting under the banner of Daesh.

Daesh has very successfully proved its footprint in Pakistan by carrying out several attacks in the volatile province of Balochistan and succeeding in making some hits in much secure areas of the country.

—The writer is English Language and World Affairs Teacher, Headstart School O-Level Branch, Islamabad.

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