Daesh has no organised foothold in Pakistan: FO

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The Foreign Office has clarified that the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh has no organised foothold in Pakistan.
The FO’s clarification came on the heels of a confessional statement made by Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Aftab Sultan on Wednesday during a Senate hearing that the network of Daesh had been dismantled in Pakistan.
The IB chief had said that some sectarian outfits, including the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and individuals had been subscribing to the ideology of Daesh. “There is an emerging trend that the terrorist groups are re-organising while Daesh is an emerging threat to the country,” Sultan had told a Senate committee.
In the weekly news briefing on Thursday, FO Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that Pakistan was consistently supporting all regional efforts against terrorism and extremism, and it was against Daesh and its supporters. “That is the reason that Islamabad has welcomed a 34-nation coalition against terrorism,” he said, adding that details and modalities of joining this coalition were being worked out at the experts’ level.
The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) had also on Wednesday termed the terrorist organisation Daesh a ‘khawarij’ (those who deviated from mainstream Islam). This declaration was made at the international ‘Paigham-e-Islam’ conference organised by the PUC and presided over by Mufti-e-Azam Palestine Al-Sheikh Muhammad Ahmed Hussein.
The FO spokesperson also said the fourth meeting of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) on Afghanistan would be held in Kabul on February 23.
In reply to a question, Zakaria said that the dialogue was the only way to resolve all the outstanding issues with India. “No date has yet been fixed for foreign secretaries-level talks between the two countries,” he said, adding that “the two sides are in constant touch with each other at the various levels to sort out hurdles before the talks were held”.
The spokesperson further said that India and Pakistan were also in contact regarding investigation into the Pathankot terrorist incident.

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