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Daesh in Afghanistan

One of the worst nightmares for Afghans could be the rise of Daesh in the war-weary country.

Published: Wed 22 Apr 2015, 11:10 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:48 PM

And that is happening now. Daesh has claimed responsibility for the deadly blast that rocked the bustling town of Jalalabad, which killed more than 40 people. This is the first claim from the dreaded militia, which appears to have made inroads into the strife-torn country, and could prove deadlier than Taleban, Al Qaeda and other terror outfits.

The gravity of the situation could be gauged from the fact that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani himself informed the bereaved nation that a new danger is lurking in the form of local militant outfits who owe allegiance to Daesh. The Taleban distanced itself from the attack and even condemned it, which could hint at it being marginalised by the emergence of Daesh, which already controls large tracts of Syria and Iraq.

With the exit of coalition troops, what is left is 10,000 soldiers to maintain minimum deterrence levels — a far from satisfactory security situation.  Although reconciliation initiatives that Ghani had launched with Pakistan in an attempt to check the free flow of militants across the Durand Line had led to some success results, the mushrooming of militants under new names has become as a major issue. Terror groups are battling for influence with some fighting under the Daesh flag to boost their profile, while others feel sidelined from the juggernaut of violence.

A terror nexus is linking the Middle East to South Asia and beyond up to Myanmar. This is a worrying trend and military and intelligance agencies must work together to fight the scourge. Daesh, on its part, is looking for new avenues to spread its reign of terror in an attempt to redraw the boundaries in blood.

It is emerging as one of the greatest security threats to the world at large. The prospect of Daesh in Afghanistan and Pakistan could make the situation more fragile. The two countries have been victims of terrorism for more than two decades.

Chaos and anarchy will have a longer shelf life if Daesh is allowed to get away with their brand of violence. Governments stretching from the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia must come together, share information and troops and fight the devil in the form of Daesh.

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