Washington D.C. [USA], Might 7 (ANI): A United States army veteran has warned about the explosive prospective of Islamic State (IS) influence in Pakistan, which he believes will only accelerate in the anticipated energy vacuum left following a US withdrawal.
Expressing his views following the coordinated and sophisticated terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, Lawrence Sellin, a retired US Army Reserve colonel stated that ISIS was originated in Pakistan and is now operating in Afghanistan.
Members of the Pakistani Taliban — Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) started migrating to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province as “refugees” in 2010 following Pakistani military operations against the TTP in Orakzai and Khyber Agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Places.
Lawrence stated: “It was these “refugees” who offered a foundation for the Islamic State. That base help was augmented by thousands of Pakistanis who fought for the Islamic State in Syria and returned beginning in 2013.”
“In January 2015, the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) declared former TTP commander Hafiz Saeed Khan of Orakzai as the leader, whose twelve-member Shura had nine Pakistanis. It is the developing level of extremism and intolerance in Pakistan that ought to be of concern, which has been a threat to Afghanistan and will be the most important contributor to instability in South Asia,” he stated in his post published in The National Interest, an American bi-month-to-month international affairs magazine.
Lawrence stated: “It is the direct outcome of official Pakistani policy and the activities of Pakistan‘s ISI.”
The “Islamization” programme initiated by former Pakistani President Muhammad Zia ul Haq in the late 1970s, which involved the proliferation of Islamic schools, “madrasas” and the promotion of Islamic law “Sharia,” was particularly developed to generate national unity by suppressing ethnic separatism and religious diversity.
Not surprisingly, radical groups have proliferated in Pakistan, becoming increasingly a lot more intense and intolerant.
The Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), a Deobandi anti-Shia organisation, was designed in the wake of the Iranian revolution to counter Shia influence in Pakistan. The speedy spread of fundamentalist Deobandi ideology in Pakistan has been extensively attributed to funding from Saudi Arabia.
When the SSP proved insufficiently militant for its developing population of zealots, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) was formed as a splinter group of the SSP.
In the search for ever purer types of Islam, the ever a lot more violent and intolerant Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al-Alami (LeJ-A) was designed out of the LeJ which, more than the final two years, has claimed duty for various bloody atrocities in Balochistan, Pakistan‘s southwest province. It has been reported that components of the LeJ, now comprise the senior cadres of the Islamic State in Pakistan.
“Another so-referred to as Islamic State affiliate operating in western Balochistan out of the city of Turbat, also recognized as a centre for drug trafficking, is Laskar-e-Khorasan, a group accused of killing religious minorities,” stated Lawrence.
Saudi help progressively shifted from the Deobandi to the a lot more radical Ahle-Hadith movement, the Pakistani equivalent of Wahhabism. It is a little ideological step from Ahl-i-Hadith to the Islamic State, which explains the development of its affiliates in Pakistan.
Amongst such Sunni-supremacist groups believed to have received Saudi funding is Jaish al-Adl, which has carried out attacks on Iran from secure havens in Pakistan and reportedly has hyperlinks to the Islamic State.
Lawrence stated in conclusion, “While downplaying the Islamic State threat in Afghanistan, US officials have practically ignored the explosive prospective of Islamic State influence in Pakistan, which will only accelerate in the anticipated energy vacuum left following a US withdrawal.” (ANI)