PESHAWAR: A pamphlet attributed to the Islamic State militant organisation has been distributed in Wana area of South Waziristan, seeking the support of local tribesmen and warning them against spying for the United States.
The leaflet also warns locals against supporting and facilitating US drone strikes, which have killed several Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Al Qaeda fighters since 2007.
In recent weeks, the name of IS has cropped up several times in militant circles in Pakistan and Afghanistan, far from organisations self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
Leaflets calling for support of IS have recently been seen in parts of northwest Pakistan, while pro-IS slogans have appeared on walls in several cities across the country.
The pamphlet, the first such to appear in Wana, asks for the support of tribesmen, or otherwise face dire consequences. It thanks tribesmen for supporting South Waziristan militant commander Mullah Nazir, who was also killed in a US drone strike.
It also praises the tribesmen’s support to Mullah Nazir’s successor, Mufti Salahuddin Ayubi.
The authenticity of the Urdu pamphlet, which carries the IS stamp and monogram and the words ‘Daish’ and ‘ISIS’ on top, is still being ascertained.
The pamphlet extends support to IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and vows to clear Wana of US supporters spying on the “holy fighters”.
The appearance of the alleged IS pamphlet in Wana is an indication that the Mullah Nazir militant group, accused of harboring anti-US fighters in Afghanistan, may be the main contact-point for the Islamic State militant group in South Waziristan tribal agency.
The organisation has already garnered support from other militant commanders and outfits in Pakistan — including former TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, five former TTP commanders in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), militant group Jundullah, and Pakistan-based Uzbek militants.
Although the Pakistani government and military officials deny the presence of the militant organisation in Pakistan, graffiti supporting Islamic State has appeared in several parts of the country.
Most recently, wall-chalking welcoming IS was seen in various parts of nearby Bannu city.
Early this month, a leaked secret government memo claimed that IS has recruited between 10,000 and 12,000 followers from the tribal areas of Hangu and Kurram Agency.
Last week, police arrested two men for allegedly plastering Islamic State stickers on walls in Lahore.