Hundreds of Pakistanis are allegedly fighting in war zones
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistan is jittery about the possible return of hundreds of radicalised citizens from conflict zones including Afghanistan and Central Asian states, a news report said on Wednesday.
The National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) -- a federal entity -- has alerted law-enforcement agencies to heighten security on borders, especially in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and coastal areas, as well as at airports.
Possible defeat of jihadist fighters in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Central Asian states has sparked fear of Pakistan sliding again into sectarian violence. The Interior Ministry has been directed to prevent thefighters from homecoming.
Dawn quoted a senior security official as saying:“The NCMC directed intelligence and law-enforcement agencies to keep surveillance on families of the individuals who have traveled to conflict zones and may create security risks for Pakistan on their return.”
About 650 Pakistanis are allegedly fighting in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Central Asia along with different foreign organisations. At least 132 of the militants, whose return could fuel sectarian strife in Pakistan, have been identified.
“Fighters of other nationalities, especially those belonging to the Central Asian states, might find Afghanistan as a safe haven. But our own nationals who are fighting in Syria and Iraq would prefer moving back to Pakistan.”
Intelligence reports suggest the fighters, planning to return home, are gathering in Afghanistan to take refuge in tribal badlands, where several insurgent groups like Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are already active.
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