Russia, Pakistan share fears over Daesh in Afghanistan

Russia, Pakistan share fears over Daesh in Afghanistan
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, left, and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif enter a hall for their talks in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 21 February 2018

Russia, Pakistan share fears over Daesh in Afghanistan

Russia, Pakistan share fears over Daesh in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia have expressed concerns over the presence of Daesh in Afghanistan.
Following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who is on an official four-day visit to Russia, said: “There was unanimity of views that unchecked proliferation of Daesh in Afghanistan, particularly along the borders of neighboring countries, was a threat to peace in the entire region.”
During talks, Lavrov insisted that combating terrorism is a priority area of cooperation between Islamabad and Moscow.
“We are planning to continue giving practical assistance in strengthening the counterterrorism potential of your country,” he told the Pakistani delegation.
The Russian foreign minister also appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in the fight against terrorism.
“He conveyed Russia’s continued support for enhancing Pakistan’s counterterrorism capabilities,” a Pakistan Foreign Ministry statement said.
Analyst Qamar Cheema told Arab News that Russia is reportedly negotiating with the Afghan Taliban in order to curb Daesh’s influence in the country.
“Russia believes militant movements in Central Asia may get impressed by (Daesh’s) ideology, so it is important to curb and eliminate Daesh infrastructure and cells in Afghanistan,” Cheema said.
“That is the reason Russia is reportedly enhancing ties with the Afghan Taliban, so that they could engage Daesh in the country knowing that the Afghan authorities are not capable of fighting Daesh.”
Asif tweeted on Wednesday that his meeting with Lavrov was “very fruitful” and added that “consensus on regional and international issues, particularly Afghanistan … need for close cooperation on counterterrorism and eliminating drug trafficking, better trade and defense relations were discussed.”
At a delegation level meeting in Moscow, the two sides also discussed the prevailing situation in Afghanistan and its implications for the region. They reiterated that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a negotiated settlement through an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process was the only viable option for lasting peace in the country.
“They agreed to closely coordinate in all Afghanistan-related processes for a regional solution of the Afghan conflict,” the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said.


Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Updated 04 December 2020

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

Militants open fire and burn police car in Philippine town

COTABATO, Philippines: Dozens of militants aligned with the Daesh group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night’s brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
“We are on top of the situation. This is just an isolated case,” regional military commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said in a statement.
Security officials gave differing statements on the motive of the 30 to 50 gunmen. Some said the militants targeted Datu Piang’s police chief over a feud but others speculated that the militants wanted to project that they are still a force to reckon with by attacking the army detachment in the center of the predominantly Muslim town.
Officials denied earlier reports that the militants managed to seize a police station and burn a Roman Catholic church.
When reinforcement troops in armored carriers arrived and opened fire, the militants fled toward a marshland, military officials said.
The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is one of a few small armed groups waging a separatist rural insurrection in the south of the largely Roman Catholic nation. The groups opposed a 2014 autonomy deal forged by the largest Muslim rebel group in the south with the Philippine government and have continued on and off attacks despite being weakened by battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism.
The armed groups include the Abu Sayyaf, which has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization for kidnappings for ransom, beheadings and bombings.