Militants joining IS, says Punjab govt

Updated December 11, 2014

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A man showing the sign board where IS graffiti was recently removed, on Lahore's Canal Road. — Online
A man showing the sign board where IS graffiti was recently removed, on Lahore's Canal Road. — Online

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab home department is reported to have warned the provincial police force that some Chechen and Uzbek militants who left Waziristan in the wake of the Zarb-i-Azb military operation are trying to join the Islamic State militant group in the country.

In a letter to divisional police chiefs, intelligence agencies and the counter-terrorism department of Punjab, the home department said there were reports that some militant groups of Pakistan were joining the IS, also known as ‘Daish’, because of its anti-Shia policies.

But it also revealed that there were groups which were resisting the IS.

The letter said there were some intelligence reports that the ‘Salafi’ groups were inclined towards ‘Daish’ which might be seeking support from jihadi outfits and militant groups.

The home department has directed law-enforcement agencies to keep an eye on individuals associated with banned outfits and their activities.

Earlier, intelligence agencies had informed the Punjab government about the presence of a group of IS activists in the country.

There have been reports that Jundullah and a few Punjabi terrorist groups have prepared literature promoting the message of ‘Daish’ and that some of the groups may be behind pro-IS graffiti in urban areas.

The Regional Police Officer of Rawalpindi, Akhtar Umar Hayat Laleka, said that police had its own mechanism to monitor the activities of people belonging to banned outfits. According to him, no signs of Daish have so far been found in Rawalpindi division.

Police, he said, had not received any report about Uzbeks or Chechens joining the IS, adding that some individuals associated with banned outfits could be involved in wall-chalking with the motive of creating panic.

Published in Dawn December 11th , 2014