It is Daesh, not IS, for Pakistan

Islamabad, July 10 (IANS) Pakistan has decided against call the Middle Eastern terrorist outfit by its “Islamic State” preferred name and instead refer to it as ‘Daesh’, an Arabic acronym the group hates.

“I would refer to the outfit as Daesh as there is nothing Islamic about it,” foreign office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in reply to a question at his weekly media briefing on Thursday.

The foreign ministry previously had been using both IS and Daesh in its statements.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was among the first leaders who avoided calling the group with its preferred name and US and Australian leaders followed.

There have also been calls by Muslim scholars to call the group Daesh in a move to de-legitimise it.

The group likes to be called Islamic State because it negates the concept of borders and promotes a vision of one Muslim caliphate. It also suggests existence of a central authority instead of roving groups of mercenaries.

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for “Al Dawla al Islamyia fil Iraq wal Sham”, the group’s original name, which when translated, means “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” or “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.

But the group feels offended when it is called Daesh and threatened to cut the tongues of those who used it.

Daesh has now become an insult in Arabic and was used to refer to extremists, who can even kill to impose their belief on others.

Pakistani officials have always denied the existence of the group in the country, but have said they were on alert against its emergence. A number of extremist groups in the country have expressed their loyalty to the group which is trying to establish a foothold in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan has alerted its security agencies to the threat posed by Daesh. Our authorities are vigilant and have been advised to take necessary action in this regard, if required,” Khalilullah said.

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