IS attacks in Moscow likely give new turn to global strategic battling

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IS attacks in Moscow

Shamim Shahid

Latest Islamic State Khorasan firing against occupants of a concert hall in Moscow has not only jolted the world but it is now giving new turns and directions to global strategic battling which is still controlled by two traditional rivals US and Russian Federation (successor of USSR). Whatever may be directions and targets of follow up of Moscow firing incidents, its epicenter wouldn’t be other than border regions between former British India and Afghanistan, dominated by Pushtoons.

No one can deny the fact that Pushtoons are no more independent as they have been made slaves and hostages by spymasters led in the sacred name of Islam and Jihad. The Islamic States (IS) also called Daesh is the latest of Mujahideen, sponsored, trained, financed and encouraged by US led allies against the former Soviet Union. The IS came into being at the time when at the last moment of the first decade of millennium, US lead allies were fed up by continuous resistance by Taliban in war devastated Afghanistan.

At early stages, the IS focused almost its attention and strategies against Shia Iran whereas it was engaged in efforts for the survival of the Syrian government. Despite wholehearted support of US led allies, the IS had failed in the Syrian war. IS militants after its failure, returned to war devastated Afghanistan at the time when Pakistan also pulled Al Qaeda remains out of tribal regions by commencing military operation Zarb-i-Azab on June 15, 2014 last.

Making Afghanistan as its base camp like Al Qaeda, the IS had made hellish lives of all those progressive, nationalists, democrats and moderate Pushtoon elders who are known for opposition to extremism and terrorism. At this stage, the IS constituted a 40-member council ( Shura ) for making its decisions and strategies.

Majority of the 40 member council were those who remain in important offices in banned Tehrik Taliban Pakistan(TTP). Still the IS is commanded by Pakistani origin Taliban who are in cordial and friendly links with Taliban ( Emirate Islami Afghanistan) governing Afghanistan. The Emirate Islami has already declared Afghanistan as a free and safe place for like minded militants from all over the world.

It doesn’t mean that with the killing of Osama Bin Laden and Dr. Aiman Al Zawahiri, Al Qaeda lost its existence or its contacts with other hardliners, operating/active on the soil of Afghanistan since the so-called cold war. Taliban regime in Afghanistan like in the late 90’s, once again gave another life to almost alleged terrorist groups especially Arabs and Central Asians. Similarly like in the past, the US is still maintaining dual standards on the issue of Muslim extremism. Through one or the other ways, the US spy masters are still in command of influencing Taliban (both Afghani and Pakistani), Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups from different countries through its experienced and tested allies like Pakistan and Saudis like Afghan Mujahideen. In 2019, the US helped Afghan in joint combat against IS in Afghanistan’s eastern zone bordering with Pakistan. Over three thousand IS militants, mostly Pakistanis have been arrested during the crackdown but the Emirate Islami accredited itself for their release after returning into power on August 15th 2021 last.

Like Pakistani militants associated with both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, a large number of CAR militants already slipped to IS. There are also reports of Afghan Taliban and Mujahideen joining of IS. Some of these Afghan Taliban were disheartened when they were neglected in appointment against choice political, civil and military offices.

Though apparently, the Emirate Islami Afghanistan is making claims of stern action against the IS militants , it seems hard as  it (Emirate) does not want to harm all those who either played a role either in Afghan war against former USSR or War on terror, declared by US against Al Qaeda lead militants after 9/11. The Taliban regime time and again has been making claims of strengthening its intelligence network against IS but all these foreign groups and individuals have already established better understanding with the Afghan Taliban, majority of whom are now in occupation of important offices.

Pakistan is still in a bid to get relevance in the region. The US and China are compelled to have relations with Pakistan. Economically and politically, Pakistan seems to be losing in the race against India. India is considered the biggest consumer market in Asia, therefore, China didn’t afford Pakistan-India hostilities.

The new government of Shehbaz Sharif is making its best to have cordial relations between New Delhi and Islamabad but Pakistan’s powerful military establishment is thinking on other lines. Russian Federation President Putin has declared an Emergency and War like situation, by saying that NATO troops are in Ukraine. In such a circumstance it could be hard for Pakistan to stay away from another round of Soviet-US tussles. There are apprehensions that like the so-called cold war, Afghanistan, especially Pushtoons dominated areas on both sides of Pak- Afghan border would again be front line in the new battle, commencing through IS.

The views expressed in the article are the writer’s own.