One of the major denials of the government of Pakistan has always been the insurgency in Baluchistan, and the growing influence of the so called Islamic State (IS) in that region and across the country. The earlier proof of the extremist organisation’s presence in the region was the abduction and murder of a Chinese couple in Quetta. The second incident, fairly recent, which supports their presence is the IS flag which was put up on major thoroughfare in the city of Islamabad on Sunday.

This incident in particular raises a few questions, the first being the lack of acceptance on the part of our authorities regarding Daesh’s presence in the country. When incidents are being blatantly ignored and their implications not acknowledged, this means that agenda setting and policy making for that particular issue cannot be pushed through. This kind of wilful negligence by the authorities will not only put Pakistan in a critical position, but also delay the operational efforts significantly to give IS the room to become important non-state actors in the country. While authorities contend that such acts are conducted by self-styled sympathisers and do not denote a significant presence of the group in the country, such brazen acts tell another story.

At the same time, this incident did not happen anywhere remote. We are talking about Islamabad; the capital of Pakistan - a city heavily guarded and monitored via surveillance mechanisms. If the people responsible for this can still get away with it; this means that the forces that we have assigned are not doing their job properly nor do they have the right setup to deal with such issues. The stringing up of IS’s black flag in the heart of Islamabad is a huge test for our police; especially with the inauguration of the Safe City Project which is supposed to monitor all activity in the city.