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ISKP chief's arrest traces roots of Kabul gurdwara attack to Pakistan

War Conflict


Mawlawi Abdullah aka Aslam Farooqui, the so-called emir of Pakistan-sponsored module of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), is under detention by Afghan forces for the massacre of 27 Sikh worshippers at Shor Bazaar Gurudwara in Kabul on March 25.

The ISKP has been on its back foot in recent months following continued operations by the US forces and separately by the Taliban.

Last November, Afghan officials said the ISKP was completely defeated in Nangarhar, one of the key eastern provinces where it first sought to establish a stronghold after its birth in January 2015. In the years since, they have claimed responsibility for a string of horrific bombings across Afghanistan, according to Al Jazeera.

The group emerged in Afghanistan following Pakistan's operation against armed groups in North Waziristan, close to the Afghan border, which displaced more than one million people.

Farooqi had been active in several roles within the group, both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement after the interrogation of the ISKP chief.

As the Afghan NDS said, it was understood that Farooqi is a Pakistani national and belongs to the Mamozai tribe and from the Orakzai agency area on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He was earlier associated with the proscribed Lashkar-e-Tayebba (LeT) group and then the Tehreek-e-Taliban terror group.

Farooqi replaced Mawlawi Zia-ul-Haq aka Abu Omar Khorasani as the ISKP chief in April 2019.

Along with operative's chief, four Pakistani nationals and ISIS members - Masoudullah from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khan Mohammad from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Salman from Karachi, and Ali Mohammad from Islamabad were also arrested in the special operation conducted by the Afghan security forces on Saturday.

The above evidence show that the Kabul gurdwara attack must have been orchestrated by Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) which is trying to promote ISKP in Afghanistan to keep a check on the Taliban.

This was the deadliest attack since the peace deal was signed between the US and the Taliban in Doha in February end. The US has agreed to completely withdraw its troops from war-torn Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan has been trying to take advantage of this opportunity to help terrorist groups operate freely in Afghanistan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, April 05 2020. 10:42 IST