Author: ANIMESH ROUL
Author: ANIMESH ROUL
Amid a series of government denials from Pakistan and Afghanistan regarding the presence of the Islamic State militant group in these countries and its ongoing outreach activities there, its expansion was corroborated by none other than the Islamic State’s spokesperson, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, on January 26, 2015 (The Nation [Lahore] September 5, 2014; Dawn [Karachi
Pakistan has struggled to cope with the spread of polio, a debilitating viral disease. Human infections are frequently reported despite government and international agencies’ efforts to eliminate the disease. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) estimate, at least 72 polio cases were recorded in Pakistan in 2013, compared to 58 cases in 2012. In 2014, the number of infected children had already reached 115 through August. The most affected provinces of Pakistan are Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Pakistan has been struggling to cope with a multitude of predicaments ranging from political instability to sectarian intolerance which often prompts the international community to tag this South Asian nation as a failing state. The homegrown neo-Talibanism in the tribal areas adjoining Afghanistan and Jihadi proxies in areas bordering India continues to pose myriad security challenges for Pakistan’s internal security as well as physical integrity.
Nasiruddin Haqqani (a.k.a. Dr Khan), was born in Nika district of Paktika Province, Afghanistan sometime in the year 1972. Unlike his illustrious warlord father and notorious brothers and relatives, Nasiruddin Haqqani maintains a relatively low public profile. Yet, he has maintained a responsible position in the hierarchy.
To make things worse for the already stressed Islamabad administration, the hardcore Taliban factions under the banner of Tehrik-e-Talban Pakistan (TTP) reemerged from a brief period of quiescence, initiating a series of violent acts against security forces with the ultimate aim to dislodge the democratically elected government and establish a Taliban style Islamic Emirate in Pakistan. Presently, the TTP’s anger is largely directed towards the Pro-NATO/US policy of Pakistan’s government.
Afghan Taliban’s campaign against female education and empowerment is well known. This campaign reached new heights when unidentified poison attacks occurred targeting several girls schools located in Kapisa and Parwan provinces in April-May 2009. These attacks involved poisonous chemical substances and the victims had complained of headaches, nausea, vomiting, itching in the eyes following exposure. Again, in mid 2010, incidents of poisoning came to light in the Afghan capital, Kabul including in Esmati High School. Similar incidents have been noticed in 2012 as well.
On October 4, 2011, New Delhi and Kabul have signed a historic Agreement on Strategic Partnership (ASP) which will further strengthen the relations between the two neighbors. India is the fifth highest donor in Afghanistan with $2billion of aid and also engaged in various development projects in Afghanistan and the recent visit by Afghan President Hamid Karzai also marks the collaboration of expanding the training of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).