Islamabad: On Friday, Pakistan for the first time admitted that the Islamic State had a presence in the country but plans by the dreaded group to target important personalities by and attempts to organise itself have been thwarted.
"Daesh tried to make an ingress into Pakistan, but the core of its group have now been apprehended," army spokesperson Lt. Gen. Asim Bajwa told a press conference, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State.
In this connection, 309 arrests have been made including 25 foreigners of Afghan, Syrian and Iraqi nationalities, he said.
They were involved in attacks on media and security personnel, and were planning attacks on government, diplomatic and civilian targets, he added.
This is the first acknowledgement by Pakistan, which has consistently denied any IS presence on its territory and rejected claims by the outfit of carrying out last month's suicide blast on a hospital that killed 75 people.
A faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan had also claimed responsibility for the 8 August attack.
Bajwa said the threat of IS is now from Afghanistan where it is present in at least three border provinces of Kunar, Nangarhar and Khost. He added that proper gates would be installed at 18 major crossing points between Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of border management to ensure no one crosses the border without valid documents.