LAHORE: Last week a news report picturing the flag of the IS organisation in the federal capital sparked the debate over its presence in the country. Pakistan has a long history of its ongoing struggle in curtailing the spread of militancy in the country. Hence, the recent incident perhaps possibly points at a potential terrorist threat. Issuing its rebuttal to the media report, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria stated that the organisation has no ‘organised presence’ in the country.
Reading the response of the Foreign Office, the first question that may arise to anyone would be of the term organised presence and the context in which it has been referred to by the FO spokesman. Does it imply that ‘organised presence’ of a militant outfit is more threatening whereas an ‘unorganised’ presence is not? The FO also stated that “media reports do not warrant any response”. However, the incident was only highlighted and wasn’t a story fabricated by the media, it was reported to the local police station by a citizen. If this does not warrant a response or the attention of the authorities concerned, then the public deserves to know what would, even when citizens have been found believing in the ideology of the organisation and fleeing the country to join it.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2017.