ISLAMABAD: Unidentified people on Sunday were able to put up an Islamic State (Daesh) flag at Islamabad Expressway near Iqbal Town, Islamabad under the nose of Islamabad police.
A senior police officer told Pakistan Today that police received a call at 11:45 am from a passerby who informed them of the development. Following which, the police rushed to the location and the flag that read “Khilafat is coming” was removed.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the inspector general of police in this regard.
SSP (Operations) Sajid Kayani told Pakistan Today that an investigation team has been constituted to probe the matter and will submit its report within two days. The SSP said it is premature to say that the flag had been put up by the IS.
On the other hand, the police are trying to nab the men who put up the flag with the help of CCTV cameras; over 1900 surveillance cameras were installed in the city under the Safe City Project at cost of over Rs13 billion.
A police official said a case would be registered under Section 11-G of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which prohibits the display of any article, symbol, flag or banner associated with any proscribed organisation. A suspect under this section can be sentenced to imprisonment or fine or both through the summary procedure. However, no FIR was registered when this report was filed Sunday evening.
Khanna Police Station SHO Sattar Shah, upon contact, said that the police have no knowledge about who put up the flag, adding that the officials checked the security cameras installed nearby but nothing was spotted in them.
It may be mentioned here that the Maulana Abdul Aziz, a cleric of Lal Masjid, Aabpara, has repeatedly stated that he “respected” IS because of the similarity in their missions and had no repentance over supporting it. Aziz had also said that “though we [Lal Masjid] have no direct link with the leadership of the IS, we had thought about the issue and decided to promote the mission and message of IS.”
Pakistan has repeatedly denied the presence of the IS in the country while it does acknowledge the presence of the outfit in Afghanistan with apprehension. Over the past year, the country witnessed a number of incidents where IS pamphlets had appeared. Last year, pamphlets appeared in Gujrat, while in 2014 pro-IS leaflets were also seen in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.