Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has said that Islamic State (Isis) will be buried and not allowed to grow in the country. Ghani's comments, which feature in a BBC interview released today (25 January 2016), come at a time when an estimated 3,000 Isis fighters have made inroad into Afghanistan and are mainly based in the country's eastern province of Nangarhar and Kunar.
The Isis (Daesh) was "not an Afghan phenomenon", Ghani told the BBC's Lyse Doucet at the sidelines of World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos over the weekend. Ghani said the offshoot of the terror group's atrocities had "alienated the people".
"Afghans are now motivated by revenge," Ghani said. "We will bury Daesh [Isis]. We are not going to sacrifice our prospects for other peoples' sake. They have now confronted the wrong people and they need to know the consequences," he said.
Ghani has called for a strong regional action against the growing IS threat in Afghanistan and also to put a stop to the terror group's spread out of Syria and Iraq. "A lot of my diplomacy has been to create the regional consensus and a region with the inheritance of previous animosities and short-sighted behavior is something that is going to require effort and focus," Ghani said.
In December 2015, top US military commander general John Campbell said up to 3,000 IS fighters were in Afghanistan. Most of the IS fighters are based in Afghanistan's northeastern provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar, Campbell said.
Islamic State-Khorasan, an an offshoot of IS (Daesh), has clashed with both the Afghan military and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. According to US State Department, IS-Khorasan was formed in January 2015. The IS offshoot consists of former members of the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban.
In recent months, Afghan forces backed by US drones launched a ground offensive against IS-Khorasan in Nangarhar. "The militant network is on the run in Nangarhar," Ghani told CNN. "They have committed unspeakable atrocities there ... We are starting to drive them out," he said.