PR Editorials

Khilafat is Coming

Photo: Dawn

End September, a flag similar to that of the Islamic State was spotted by a citizen flying in the national capital – Islamabad. It screamed: “Khilafat is coming”. The flag was subsequently removed, but has brought back the debate on the Islamic State with a clear divide between the State and the society on the IS presence.

A formal statement was made by the State, strangely by the Foreign Service. It made an even curious point that there is no “organized presence” of the IS in Pakistan, and “media reports do not warrant any response.” 

This is not the first time one has found an IS flag in Pakistan. There have been numerous reports and graffiti about the IS in major cities. Ample statements from different militant leaders have been already made on the intention.

While the earlier statements from the State totally negated the idea of IS being present in Pakistan, the latest one refers to the absence of an “organized presence”. Does this mean that there is an IS presence, even though it may not be organized?

Ever since the formation of al Qaeda, the militant strategy has been evolving. The evolution of sleeper cells, use of internet and foreign fighters, the threat from international groups such as the Islamic State is becoming more nebulous. Hence, the absence of an organized presence, may be a strategy in itself by the militant groups. The State will have to look at the intentions and not the presence in this context.