The Foreign Office on Thursday reiterated that the Islamic State (IS) has no presence in Pakistan amid reports that a group of 20 people left the country for Syria recently to join the ultra-radical Middle Eastern group.
“We have seen media reports that certain elements trying to associate themselves with Da’ish have been arrested and that investigations are going on,” FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, using another name IS is widely known by. He was speaking at his weekly news briefing in Islamabad.
No presence of Daesh in Pakistan: Foreign Office
He made it clear, however, that IS has no ‘footprint’ in Pakistan. “We will not tolerate even the shadow of Da’ish in Pakistan. We have alerted our security agencies to the threat posed by Da’ish. They will take appropriate action, if required,” Qazi said.
His statement came amid reports that three women from Lahore had left for Syria along with their children in order to join IS. An FIR registered initially alleged that the children were kidnapped by the women, but Lahore Deputy Inspector General Haider Ashraf later told BBC Urdu that they were all members of the same family.
The development came to light a day after security forces claimed busting a group of eight people accused of trying to recruit people in Sialkot for IS.
Answering a question, Qazi said Pakistan and India are finalising the date for foreign secretaries’ talks in Islamabad.
IS militants are Israeli soldiers: Saudi grand mufti
The foreign-secretary level talks, part of the agreement reached between the two countries to resume peace process, will work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings of various segments under the dialogue.
Asked to comment on reports of new constructions being planned by India along the Line of Control (LoC), the spokesperson said Pakistan will take up the issue during the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, which includes a segment on peace and security.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2016.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ