Pakistan’s military has announced ISIS is about to stage wave of terrorist attacks against Christians.
The Pakistani government through its armed forces announced that extremists groups in the country which are connected to Islamic State (ISIS) are about to stage wave of terrorist attacks against Christian minorities in the country.
Based on reports, military personnel already began warning Christians, both individuals and communities to be more conscious of their security. Christian clerics were also advised to avoid trips, unnecessary outdoor meetings, or simply being away from their churches or communities. According to military intelligence, the terrorists groups are planning to stage attacks on specific places like Christian schools, churches, and even hospitals.
Before ISIS became the most notorious terrorist group today, Pakistan was previously plagued by certain extremist groups like the Taliban and Jundallah. But due to military efforts, the Taliban has slowly lost its influence and grip in Pakistan. The Taliban group in the country has slowly disintegrated and several factions have started pledging allegiance and loyalty to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Pakistani Taliban commander and his group joined the Islamic State early this year. On the other hand, the leader of the Jundallah terrorist organization Ahmed Marwat has also been linked with ISIS. In fact, the Jundallah group is considered the most powerful arm or representation of ISIS in Pakistan. These groups and few others are the ones identified by the Pakistani Army which have planned such upcoming attacks.
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Aside from warning Christians and other religious minorities, the Pakistani military has also stepped up security and intelligence measures. Reports say that military heads have started purifying the military ranks by “purging” military officers and personnel who are suspected and known sympathizers of ISIS, Taliban and other Islamic terrorists or extremist groups.
The Pakistani Army headed Staff General Raheel Sharif, Intelligence Chief General Rizwan Akhtar and Army Rangers General Bilal Akbar have also made efforts to prevent such threats by going on the offensive and defeating the terrorists groups right at their camps. The northwestern region of Pakistan is said to be the area plagued by various terrorists groups.
Pakistan is just one of the countries where Christians and other non-Muslim minorities have long been prosecuted. Their plight is even more difficult since being a minority; they are often being ignored by most Pakistanis who are mainly Muslims. And according to concerned groups, the newly revealed threat would only serve those who are discriminative or hostile against the Christian minorities.
Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association said that “Many of the conditions for genocide of Christians have long been in place in Pakistan, and earlier this year the government itself was inciting hatred against Christians, along with the media, in the aftermath of the double church suicide bombing.”
For many groups and Christian clerics, the military’s move in warning and trying to protect minorities and Christians is a positive sign that implies the improving relationship between the military and the minorities. There are also those who think that such terrorist plans and actual attacks is only the extremists’ response to the effectiveness of the military campaigns against these groups.