Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan on Wednesday said militant group Islamic State’s presence is growing in Pakistan.
Addressing the Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control, Sultan said banned outfits –Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba are reorganising themselves, with presence of Daesh (Islamic State) more prominent than before.
IB chief said that all local militant groups including Lashker-e-Jhangvi and Sipaha-e-Sihaba have a soft corner for Daesh.
“TTP coordinates with Daesh despite being rivals in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the group is using social media and cyberspace extensively to recruit and communicate messages of suspected militants.
“The Intelligence Bureau is identifying signs of the militants’ presence in the country and carrying out arrests where necessary,” Sultan said.
“There are reports of fighters being recruited by sectarian and other outfits, and being sent to Syria. The number of people leaving from Pakistan to Syria to join IS are in hundreds,” he said.
“These militants are now targeting media houses and educational institutes in Pakistan,” he said.
The IB DG said that TTP Fazlullah group was still the strongest and all militant groups were working in tandem. “Jandullah is a smaller group,” he said.
Sultan claimed that terror incidents have considerably decreased after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. “Terrorists are on the run. Civilian security and intelligence set-ups are augmenting and implementing operation Zarb-e-Azb in cities.”
Pakistan has continuously denied the presence of the militant group on its soil. In January this year, the Foreign Office reiterated that the 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.