Pakistan concerned over ‘growing’ IS activity in Afghanistan

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Islamabad, Aug 3 (IANS) Pakistan said on Thursday that it was concerned about the growing activity and presence of the Islamic State in neighbouring Afghanistan.

“Daesh (IS) appeared to have gained foothold in large swaths of ungoverned territories in that country. Regional countries are concerned over the situation in Afghanistan, which has been expressed during a number of meetings on Afghanistan under various initiatives,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said.

The comments came weeks after the US defence department Pentagon said the US forces killed Abu Sayed, the chief of Islamic State – Khorasan Province in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 11.

Abu Sayed was chosen to lead the group after Afghan and US forces killed former IS-K leaders Abdul Hasib and Hafiz Sayed Khan in April this year and July last year respectively.

The Pakistani spokesman told weekly briefing that Pakistan will take all necessary measures to mitigate the “threat emanating from the presence of IS close to our borders on the Afghan side and to avoid any spillover to our territory.”

“Effective border controls and border management are imperative to curb cross-border movement of terrorists, drug and human smugglers. Pakistan stresses on effective border management,” he said, adding that cross border terrorism has also been a matter of concern for both sides and that is why Pakistan is engaged in efforts involving effective border management.

–IANS

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