Unsurprisingly, the American Embassy says it has just received news on possible terrorist attacks in Islamabad during the Christmas and New Year holiday period at the end of the year.
The warning for American citizens goes on to say “possible targets include places of worship and shopping centres” in Pakistan’s capital city.
The warning says that American citizens should “minimise the number and duration of trips” to crowded places such as markets, restaurants, hotels. American government personnel are under additional movement restrictions.
This cautioning arguably comes from US Defense Secretary Ash Carter recent announcement that work in Afghanistan has been put on top priority.
Carter and Afghan Defense Minister Muhammed Masoom Stanekzai spoke a Jalalabad briefing on the security situation in Afghanistan affirming that the partnership between the two nations will persist “for years ahead”.
Carter had earlier said to Afghans, “We’re with you. We stand by you. And we must continue to work hard together to do what we said we would do — give a bright future to the Afghan people and a strong security partner to America.”
But this is sure to act as a red flag to the Taliban bull. They have rejected Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s claim to be the global leader of all Muslims, but equally resent the US presence in Afghanistan.
“Baghdadi is not Khalifa (caliph) because in Islam, Khalifa means that he has command over all the Muslim world, while Baghdadi has no such command; he has command over a specific people and territory”
They are confused by Baghdadi’s saying the “caliphate is not Islamic because in a real caliphate you provide real justice while Baghdadi’s men kill many innocent mujahideen (fighters) of other groups,” the statement read.
Both the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban condemned the ‘barbarity’ of Islamic State’s rule, but press on for their own version of Sharia rule.
The Taliban have their adherents straddling the Afghan-Pakistan border and there are as many in the heartlands of both countries ready to die for this cause.
They view the Americans as the enemy and are wary of Baghdadi, who suddenly sprang up out of nowhere on the demise of Osama bin Laden.
The Taliban are guerilla fighters who are loyal only to the call of al Qaeda and Baghdadi’s forces are seen as paid mercenaries who drift with the whiff of money.
They see Pakistan’s armed forces as collaborators of the coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan and the border areas which is their home. They are therefore their adversaries.
The Taliban are currently caught in crossfire and will simply go underground, only to re-emerge when they see soft targets.
The Pakistani armed forces can carpet bomb the Taliban areas into oblivion, but they can do nothing against ghosts that disappear into uncharted territory.
The American’s would do well to heed Ash Carter’s warnings and keep their heads down in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.