Is ISIS a threat to Pakistan?

IS or ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) as it is commonly known these days is a self proclaimed unrecognized state and a Sunni jihad group having its base in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. It also self proclaims itself as a caliphate with their main objective being controlling the Muslim inhabited areas starting with the Levant region which includes the states of Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey.

It is believed that the organization is part ‎of the larger group of Al-Qaeda. The total strength in person is believed to be 80,000-100000 in total with around 50,000 in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq.

It was originated in 1999 by the name of Jamaat’al tawhid wal-jihad and it revolutionized as Al-Qaeda in Iraq then as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and now known as Islamic state (IS).

It is a sunni extremist group following an extreme anti western interpretation of islam, promoting religious violence and regards whoever that doesnt agree with them as infidels and apostates.

Linking the organization as a threat to Pakistan sounds interesting but not a far fetched assumption. We all know that our foreign policy has always been tilted in favor of being pro American. This may be because we feel that without their support we might crumble economically and the fact that having good terms with the world super power can be an asset, but some people don’t feel that way and that is where our country gets into trouble. Extremism in any way is bad; it is a well known phenomenon. We get aid and economic support from the west while organizations such as the IS and Al-Qaeda think of it as the biggest sin, the chance of them retaliating against us increases. We have seen in the past as how being pro American in our foreign affairs policy has hurt us time and again with numerous bombings in the main cities of our country all claimed to be done by Al-Qaeda.

How can IS be an actual threat is that it claimed to be a part of Al-Qaeda and now with the operation of Zarb-e-Azab underway by the Pakistan military forces, it is bound to cause a reaction. Pakistan tries to present itself as a liberal state but these organizations feel that there is no space for liberalism in Islam. We cannot become an extremist state as it would be a blow to our international standing, meaning that we would always be at war with such organizations and that any such organization would always pose a threat to the very existence of our country, but we are dealing with it now and hope to deal with it in the future as well..