Amb Ali Sarwar Naqvi. Amir Rana Sb
Welcome to Islamabad Policy Institute. I would like to thank all of you for sparing your valuable time on such a short notice to discuss an emerging, but a worrisome development.
I wish to particularly thank both Amb Naqvi and Amir Rana Sb, who have been longstanding patrons of IPI. Both have been at IPI before. Rana Sb contributed to our policy document for PTI government – Mapping Policy Agenda 2018 -2023.
We are also grateful to Prof Max Abrahms, who is an international expert on terrorism and counter-terrorism. He will be joining us over skype from Washington.
Ladies and Gentleman:
Pakistanis are no strangers to the brutality of Daesh. We have not only closely followed the group unleash barbarity in Syria and Iraq, but have also seen it establish a foothold in Afghanistan. We, in Pakistan, have also suffered at the hands of this group.
However, recent developments in which Daesh looked to be on the retreat in Middle East created a sense of hope that finally we may get rid of these enemies of humanity, who misuse the name of Islam for their gruesome acts.
But, the horrific Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka were a rude awakening for all of us that the terrorist group, whom we believed to be close to annihilation, was looking at greater presence in our region. Subsequent resurfacing of Abu Bakar Baghdadi and announcement of Kashmir based Vilay-e-Hind was by no means a coincidence.
These disturbing developments have proven that despite the Middle East set back, the reach of the group and its ability to cause havoc remains undiminished. This poses a challenge for conflict ridden South Asia in particular.
We will expect our experts to touch on the strategic aspect of Daesh’s new focus on South Asia.
I would once again like to thank all of you for sparing your time to participate in this discussion. I look forward to a fruitful discussion on the topic.