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Islamic State Regrouping in Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Areas, say Tribal Leaders

IS claimed responsibility over the weekend for the assassination of three Pakistan military personnel in the northwestern city of Peshawar

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Afghan militiamen raise their weapons as they stand guard in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2015. VOA
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Sept 21, 2016: Local leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan say they are seeing a resurgence and regrouping of Islamic State fighters in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

Afghan forces, aided by U.S. bombers, reportedly intensified attacks on remote mountainous IS positions Tuesday. More than two dozen IS fighters were killed in air raids in the Achin and Kot districts, according to a spokesperson for the provincial governor and the Afghan defense ministry.

Afghan and U.S. coalition forces recently cleared many areas of IS militants in a number of districts in eastern Nangarhar province. But IS has recaptured several remote villages in Achin and Kot, which border Pakistan, tribal leaders told VOA.

FILE – Afghan police walk past Islamic State militant flags on a wall, after an operation in the Kot district of Jalalabad province east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 1, 2016. VOA

“The government has not built any check posts in remote areas that lie far from the district center, and people in those areas live under IS control,” Malek Kamin, a tribal elder in Achin, told VOA.

Malek Kateb, a Kot district tribal elder, said the areas that once were cleared of IS militants have come back under IS’s control after Afghan troops pulled back from the remote region. He added that around 250 IS fighters are present in the area. According to the tribal elders, IS militants are oppressing the local residents and limiting their movements.

Provincial officials say they are bulking up Afghan Local police forces to work under the ministry of interior to provide more enforcement and protect remote areas where IS is regenerating. Afghan Local Police, with around 30,000 members across the country, mostly protect remote villages.

Efforts in Pakistan

The regrouping of IS in the border region is accompanied by a threatening IS presence in neighbouring Pakistan where, despite the government’s previous denials, military officials say IS is attempting to establish a foothold.

Pakistani police officers and local residents gather at the site of a firing incident at Garhi Sohbat Khan on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 18, 2016. Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed three soldiers Sunday, police said. VOA

IS claimed responsibility over the weekend for the assassination of three Pakistan military personnel in the northwestern city of Peshawar. The attack occurred days after the Pakistani military announced it had “forestalled” IS’s attempts to infiltrate Pakistan.

IS “tried to make an ingress and they failed, and they have been apprehended so far,” Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, a spokesman for the Pakistani army, told reporters.

He added that security forces have arrested more than 300 , including Syrians, in recent weeks. IS was plotting attacks on government, diplomatic and other civilian facilities, including media houses, according to Bajwa.

The threat of IS in Pakistan follows reports and remarks by state officials earlier this year that the group had been attempting to expand in the country. The director general of Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau, Aftab Sultan, earlier this year warned lawmakers that IS was an emerging problem in the country and that hundreds of fighters linked to local banned religious groups had left for Syria to join IS ranks there.

Protecting residents

According to media reports, many of the IS members in Afghanistan belong to the Orakzai tribe in Pakistan, whose militants maintain a presence on both sides of the Durand Line between the two countries.

FILE – An Afghan border policeman prepares ammunition at a check post at the Goshta district of Nangarhar province, where Afghanistan shares borders with Pakistan, May 8, 2013.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard this week announced the arrest of two Pakistani nationals with IS, who the Guard said were planning to conduct terror activities.

Near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan, IS militants have been active in parts of Nangarhar province since last year and have launched multiple attacks against government forces and local villages. Afghan and U.S. forces have conducted cleanup operations against IS in Nangarhar and surrounding areas.

Nangarhar’s governor, Salim Khan Kunduzi, vowed to stand by local residents against IS militants.

“We promise them [local residents] that, God willing, we would not abandon them. We would protect the areas through local uprising forces and Afghan local police,” the governor said to Afghan media. (VOA)

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Pashtun activist Farhat Taj exposes dirty nexus between Pakistan army and terrorists

It is no surprise anymore than Pakistan army has been committing genocides in Pashtun and Baloch areas, Farhat Taj, Pashtun human rights activist further exposed how Pakistan army is supporting terrorists in their evil plan

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In a shocking video, Pashtun human rights activist, Farhat Taj, research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo, and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy exposed the dirty nexus between Pakistan army and terrorist organisations such as Taliban.

Pakistan army is time and again accused of committing genocidal crimes against Pashtun and Baloch civilians. Since last few years we have been seeing how Baloch and Pashtun activists became vocal against atrocities committed by Pakistan army on their soil. There are more than 30 million Pashtuns worldwide coming together for a free Pashtunistan. Farhat Taj also confirms in her video about Pakistan state sponsoring extremism, raising terrorists and brainwashing Pashtun children to manufacture “jehadi fighters”.

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Umar Daud Khattak, Mission Commander, Pashtunishtan Liberation Army, said “Unity of Pashtuns across the imposed Durnad Line is an immense need of the time. Pashtuns are oppressed under Pakistani genocidal occupation, they displaced, killed, bombarded, their homes and villages are bulldozed, chemical weapons are used against them. Until now about 2 million Pashtuns are displaced by Pakistan Army and have killed about 200,000. It is mind-boggling numbers. Loy Afghanistan Movement is a good effort for political, diplomatic and social plateform for uniting Pashtuns across the Durand Line and restore the natural geography.”

Pakistan, a fake state fuelling terror for a long time is now getting backlash in home. The world now acknowledges that Pakistan is a failed state, the world now shares the grief of Baloch, Pashtuns and sindh people, its high time for the world to stand together against the manufacturer of terrorism, Pakistan. Pakistan army which is supposed to fight terrorism are actually the one raising terrorist, army person in day shift is a Talib in night shift. This is the state of affairs in Pakistan. I do hope that civil society of Pakistan will come forward and protest against such a failed state and barbaric military which is involved in genocide. Pakistan needs more of Tarek Fateh and Farhat Taj if they want to prosper as a progressive nation rather than an extremist centre of terrorism.

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik