No operational link between IS, Taliban: US
5/16/2015

WASHINGTON: So far there is no evidence of an operational linkage between the self-styled Islamic State (IS) and the militants in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia, the US State Department said on Friday.

Asked to comment on a possible linkage between the Taliban and other extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan on one hand and the IS group on the other, a spokesman said: `The United States remains concerned about that potential, but had not yet seen it materialize.

`In general terms, we certainly are concerned about the possibility of ISIL (another name for IS) influence spreading.

However, up until now, our estimation has been that these are primarily of a rhetorical nature, not of an operational linkage between ISIL in Iraq and Syria and Pakistan or South Asia, ` he said.

`But that`s a topic we continue to watch.` In an earlier statement on Wednesday`s attack in Karachi, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that there was more strength in the respect and solidarity the United States and Pakistan felt for one another than there could ever be in any terrorist attack.

`The American people stand in solidarity with the people of Pakistan, and with the global Ismaili community on this tragic day,` he said. `Make no mistake. There is more strength by far in the respect and solidarity that we feel towards one another than there could ever be in any terrorist attack.`

Published in Dawn