With NATO wrapping up its operations in neighboring Afghanistan and a resurgent Taliban having daringly attacked a cantonment school, the threat of ISIS taking over the land of the pure is ever mounting.
Last year when pamphlets supporting the cause of ISIS were distributed in the suburbs of Peshawar, though these fears further grew they have quickly brushed aside as an act of some overzealous mullahs. ISIS was simply too far away to be of any real threat to Pakistan.
Originally a reactionary organization which emerged as a result of Sunnis being sidelined from the Iraqi mainstream, ISIS at first was considered an Arab nationalistic movement.
But with a weak Iraqi government and fanatics growing strong with oil and terror money it slowly evolved into an international terrorist organization dwarfing Al-Qaeda and eventually taking over almost half of the oil rich Iraq.
Now under its fanatic leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, ISIS openly exhibits its unrealistic intention of the establishment of an international Islamic empire; a goal which seems to be bound for failure but at the same time necessary for attracting more recruits.
ISIS phobia should not be taken lightly as without any doubt a vast network of Islamic militant groups does exist in Pakistan, one which is highly attracted to the ISIS cause and ambitions. More worryingly some of the religious political parties too seem to be attracted to this very ideology.
Last year Jammat-e-Islami shocked the world by declaring its silent support to the ISIS cause in its magazine Dawat. What’s even more shocking is that the ISIS leader Baghdadi too is often reported to have quoted the teachings of Maulana Maududi, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami who had once opposed Jinnah in establishment of Pakistan.
Judging from this, appalling as it may seem there seems to be no dearth of ISIS sympathizers in Pakistan.
And with the war in Afghanistan drawing near to an end, with some of the militant commanders in Afghanistan having already having declared their support to Baghdadi’s cause and with NATO gone it could only be a matter of time before such notorious elements begin to rollover in Pakistan too.
Pakistan must act instantly to clear off such threats to its sovereignty for though we do agree with the principle of establishment of an Islamic welfare state yet ISIS’s brutal methods, its reintroduction of slavery and declaring all those who disagree with its own version of Islam as infidels go against the very values on which our society and nation is based.
At present though there does seem to be a threat of ISIS infiltration in Pakistan. Yet can the notion of it becoming a major threat be simply too far-fetched to be realistic. That might be a question which only time can answer.