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Neutralizing the IS threat

When the government is trying to convince the Taliban for talks and reconcile with them to end the bloodshed, at the same time it has been put in trouble by the Islamic States (IS) or Daish. The group has sprouted recently but spreading like a parasite. Earlier, it was al-Qaeda and the Taliban but now the IS has captured the scene. However, they all are used for specific purposes in particular regions by the same engineers. Seemingly, funding source and structure of the three remains the same. What make them different are their strategies and ambitions. It is an open secret that some terror groups such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban are joint assets of few players who want to establish hegemony in the region. Unfortunately, they used Afghanistan as a launching pad. The warmongering players—a couple of neighboring and a bunch of Arab countries— using violence as tool to bring their ideological brothers in power. They also want to encircle their rivals who don’t share the same ideology. In this case the approach is simple—increase number of supporters by carrot or stick. Access to the energy-rich Central Asia and shift in balance of power in the region are other key objectives of the states that are funding and training the IS.

However, to achieve these goals the blood-thirsty actors know that stable Afghanistan would never allow them to use its soil against others. Therefore, wracking havoc has been top priority of the terror groups’ franchisers. This time they are using the IS. Daish is a cutting-edge terror group of the old actors formed after experiments on al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Hence, the group is old wine in a new bottle but with larger affects and minor changes in structure. The multinational terror group has more sophisticated weapons and employed modern warfare strategies, a combination of guerilla and open warfare. Furthermore, the group has more recruits than its predecessor al-Qaeda as several militant groups including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Boko Haram and a cluster of Afghan insurgents pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. IS has presence in several countries including Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan.

But, the most interesting fact is that old faces dominate the group. Daish is a pawn in the strategic chess-game like its forerunner. Kidnapping of 30 Hazara passengers in Zabul, attack on a Khanqah in Kabul city where sufis were killed and killing of the IS members in Farah indicate that the IS threat should not be taken lightly.

The Afghan government should be meticulous because restricting media isn’t the solution. Media is not a weapon but just a source of information. If timely measures were not taken then fears are high that the foreign imposed war would gain length, because more regional players would jump into the arena to secure their interests if the IS tried to sneak into their territory. No doubt, it would make the situation worse.

Therefore a multifaceted strategy should be chalked out to confront the IS at its early stage and prevent it from nourishing. As a first step, the authorities at helm should find out that who are supporting the IS and where its recruits are trained. It is necessary to gather intelligence information about structure and financial source of the group and its link with regional actors who are meddling in internal affairs of Afghanistan. Moreover, operations should be launched to crush Daish in areas where it is budding. The government should support the pro-state militia groups and ask public for support because Afghans are tired of the wars. Precedents are there. It is also imperative to track funding to institutes and individuals from abroad to make sure the terror outfits are not supported the other way around.

Caution is the key to success. Thus, we should ask the international community for financial support and supply of modern weapons but not for troops because presence of foreign soldiers could turn the table. The authorities don’t know that who are supporting the IS. That’s why the best option for Afghans is to deal with the threat on their own. Leaving our problems to others never let this country to become stable as the history tells. It is time to change the course of history and do what we can.

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