Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province, is the home town of prime minister Nawaz Sharif. A News Week Pakistan report says that according to the police, Sunni organizations may be exploiting the Islamic State's image to spread fear into the hearts of Pakistan's Shia community.
On Monday, November 10, the police removed about a dozen pro-IS posters which were pasted on electricity poles running along the city's canal. The police also discovered and erased "Daish Zindabad" graffiti from walls.The organisation ISIL is commonly referred to as Daish in Pakistan.
Posters first appeared in Lahore in October and graffiti supporting IS appeared in Karachi and its propaganda literature in Peshawar.
"I am a 100 percent sure this was the doing of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni organisation" said superintendant of police, as quoted by The News Week. "The areas where this material appeared have a large Shia population. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi wants to scare them and prevent them from carrying out their religious practices in the holy month of Muharram."
The police has charged hate-speech charges against the unknown persons who put up the posters and graffitis. The report says that Punjab government has also formed special investigating units to patrol the streets to prevent any more acts of the same kind. The issue has been taken with utmost seriousness by the police and administration as this can even trigger sectarian clashes in the country.
Islamic State, a terror organisation which is based in middle-east countries like Iraq and Syria, has now overtaken Al Qaeda as the primary global jihadist outfit.
The Pakistan police reiterates that the terror group has no presence in the Punjab.
However, last month Pakistan's intelligence agencies had alerted the administration about IS tying up with local jihadist groups.