Wednesday September 27, 2023

Pakistan, US to share information on Daesh

March 10, 2016

WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the US are committed to enhancing intelligence cooperation and information sharing on any and all ISIL (Daesh) related activity in the region.

The information gathered on the ground will be shared with security agencies on a priority basis about the look out for the ISIL, and its prospective partner groups.To achieve the goal, the United States will work to further bolster the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement authorities to combat terrorism, including financing of terrorism.

The two sides wish to enhance cooperation between their respective counterterrorism authorities and want to enhance information-sharing between Afghanistan and Pakistan as well, including through joint training, to better interdict the flow of illicit materials.

Pakistan has already denounced ISIL (Daesh) and has declared that it will not allow ISIL’s ideology to foster in its territory, while the US fears that ISIS/ISIL could gain ground in the region or extremist groups there could form an alliance with it. A State  Department official in response to a query told ‘The News’ that the US “continues to watch for any signs of operational activities linked to the ISIL in the region.”

The department official further said that the US was “actively engaged with the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to support efforts that deny terrorist organisations such as ISIL or their affiliates safe haven and material support.”

The issue has been so important to the US that it was also raised during the ministerial meeting between Americans and Pakistanis. The agenda covered the possibility of ISIL taking ground in the region and how both countries could counter it.

The statement issued after the ministerial meeting last week also highlighted that it acknowledged the emerging terrorist threat posed by ISIL or Daesh in the region, and that both delegations agreed that their countries should work closely together to counter this threat of mutual concern, and afford their commitment to combat the extremist ideology that fuels such groups. “Pakistan reiterated its firm resolve not to allow ISIL/Daesh to develop foothold in its territory, and the United States expressed its appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts in this regard,” the statement said.

In recent weeks, the US has been proactively involved to defeat the ISIL. It is interesting to note that there are several global and regional initiatives formed to deal with the threats posed by the ISIS; and most notable is the US lead global coalition which has more than 60 member states providing support in the fight against ISIL at varying levels. Yet, Pakistan or Afghanistan were not named or identified officially as members of the coalition.

However, the United Nations Security Coalition also adopted the US sponsored resolution 2178, which aims to target ISIL and foreign terrorist fighters. All member states have to adhere to those adopted regulations, but the US wants Pakistan’s help beyond the UN rules.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani confirmed although Pakistan was not a member of the US-led coalition against ISIL, “Pakistan is supportive of all initiatives against international terrorism and terrorist organisations.

“Domestically, ISIL is a banned organisation and steps are being taken to prevent its organised presence in the country.”It is pertinent to mention that President Obama had even given the commander of American and Nato forces in Afghanistan, Gen John Campbell, an authority to aggressively target the Islamic State militants near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border through air strikes and Special Forces operations. The Pentagon had estimated there were 1,000 to 3,000 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, after which Campbell warned that the fighters “have the ability to recruit quite well, not only around the world, but inside Afghanistan.”