The “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) is apparently shifting its focus towards Pakistan and India after its territorial defeat in the Middle East earlier this year.
ISIS recently announced the creation of “Pakistan Province” through its Amaq propaganda mouthpiece, when it claimed responsibility for killing a traffic police officer in Pakistani province of Balochistan May 12.
ISIS also claimed to have targeted Taliban fighters in Quetta May 14, and police in Karachi May 20.
Meanwhile, on May 10, ISIS claimed its “Hind Province” branch attacked Indian forces in the Indian-ruled portion of Kashmir.
Both new ISIS “provinces” previously fell within ISIS’s “Khorasan Province”, the name the group uses to describe regional operations launched from bases in Afghanistan.
“The facilitators of ISIS may have a presence on our soil,” admitted Aitzaz Ahmed Goraya, deputy inspector general of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) in Balochistan Province.
“ISIS basically sees Balochistan and other tribal areas of Pakistan as soft targets for its operations; therefore, it is trying to establish a footprint here,” he said.
A counter-insurgency operation May 16 killed nine terrorists, including three commanders, at a training base linked to ISIS militants in Mastung, he said.
“From the militants’ training base, heavy weapons, explosives, suicide jackets, ammunition and literature on the latest and sophisticated weapons training were seized,” he said, adding that the National Database and Registration Authority is working to identify the dead militants.