ISIS making way to Pakistan- a dream towards caliphate Islamic State of Khorasan
By Bisma Ilyas
Islamic State (IS) commonly known as DAISH, a militant group of Iraq and currently strengthening its position in Syria.They are religiously extremist, following Saudi Arabian design of Sharia law; well this is all what they project!
However, the recent phenomenon of declaring themselves as Islamic State rather than ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIL, Islamic State of Iraq and Levant specifies a larger agenda of Islamic State militants. An agenda that has greatly clarified the staunch stance of IS as being the caliphs of Muslim world.
The map ravels the scheme of creatingan Islamic State of Khorasan, encapsulating entire Middle East and South Asia in particular. Here, the subject matter is Pakistan which is already fighting war against terrorism; the terrorist group popularly known as Taliban has created a turmoil in Pakistan-Afghanistan region.
Recently, Pakistan’s TTP leaders have claimed allegiance to the ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi showing their full support to the group. Now, to what extent ISIS can make caliphate’s way through Pakistan, or how will they lay their hands over this territory, even the questions like will they be the Caliphs of Khorasan, becomes difficult to answer. Only for now we can calculate, assess and make assumptions to the possibility but not the likelihood for this case.
Firstly, we have to weigh some of the probable factors that may lead ISIS to this land, some of the toning or we can say the similar prospects that they can find here in Pakistan. The state of Pakistan was created on the basis of religion, and we Pakistanis being dear to our religion are very protective over this issue. Sunni majority population will play a major role in encapsulating the hearts and minds of Pakistani people (if and so ISIS manages to land its hand here). But if we see the recent past, we cannot ignore the sectarian violence that shook the whole country in which thousands of Shi’ite lost their lives, and if we see through this lens then ISIS is a major threat as they are strongly against Shi’ite. ISIS might exploit people to wipe out Shi’ite community that will help them in their greater agenda of being caliphs and spreading Sunni ideology on basis of Shariah law
On the other hand chances for areas like FATA and KPK, might be the first one to be influenced by group like ISIS, portraying to be the caliphs and the protectors of Islam which can prove to be a safe heaven for them. This is how Taliban have been exploiting people from tribal areasand they have much successful indeed. Recent news over the distribution of pamphlets of DAISH in the areas of Peshawar has spurred rumors about the incoming of this militant group. Not only that the TTP leaders joining hands with the top leader of ISIS, but then the recent recruitment of Taliban militants to ISIS for joining the battle in Syria, has provided much substance to the fact that IS has actually stepped its way into Pakistan.
Around the country, we have come across news like wall chalking of DAISH slogans on the outskirts of Karachi or even in Multan, but to what extent this has been done by agents of ISIS is unknown. Whether it was just a trick or a real play… no one knows. If we talk about the image of ISIS across Pakistan, we will definitely see anti-ISIS sentiment for the fact that they are militants, brutal and a threat. Not only this but Pakistan has been fighting war against terrorism for a long time and now when they are trying to wipe Taliban out, Pakistan definitely cannot afford to have such group on her land and remain as the victim of war.
Now, the term caliphate (Khalifah) is being used after decades of the fall of Ottoman Empire, which is luring for the hearts of Muslims. This might sway much of the population towards this group as it has been doing successfully so far like Muslims from European origin are joining ISIS to fight in Syria and we never know other numbers who else would have joined them. As for Pakistan, it might do the same as it has been doing to the whole world. But so far no such news has prompted that states if any Pakistani joining ISIS to fight for them.
The main question still lies there, whether they will be able to occupy Pakistan or not! Well, above mentioned are likely scenarios that can play major role. However, this seems improbable for ISIS atleast for one or two score years but one can never predict the future, we might be wrong as well. But how is it dubious, because Pakistan has been fighting war against terrorism and it will not allow any such further entity to threaten its territory.
And as per the current situation, we can see that even ISIS is being encountered by West and even the forces present inside Syria and Iraq which is weakening this group and hopefully they will gradually loose its strength.
Author: Bisma Ilyas
Defense and Diplomatic Studies
Fatimah Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan