Three years under the brutal occupation of the Islamic State (IS) have left Mosul a shell of what it once used to be. However, Iraq’s armed forces can be proud of succeeding in finally managing to push the terrorist organisation out of the city last week. Both Iran and Iraq have declared victory in the city, and surprisingly, the Iraq Ambassador in Pakistan acknowledged the assistance of Pakistan in making this a realistic possibility. Intelligence gathering, provision of arms, ammunition and medical services are some of the things the Iraqi Ambassador credited Pakistan for.

Pakistan’s involvement in the conflict is something the state has so far neglected to mention. Indeed, fighting against IS should be looked at with favour – beyond serving the global cause of eradicating terrorism internationally, Pakistan also benefits immensely if the IS network is dismantled because of the regional threat it poses. But what is strange is the government’s silence – never once have any Pakistani members of government, the armed forces or even Iraqi officials, ever even hinted at Pakistani support. Why hide a positive act by the country, even when it it resolutely refutes the notion of Pakistan not doing enough in the war against terrorism. Perhaps it is because of the company Pakistan was keeping to fight IS – an alliance with Iran is something Pakistan has always been wary of publicising too much. However, even that is not good enough reason for failing to mention our part.

In both symbolic and real terms, Iraqi forces have gained significant ground in the fight against IS, but with each victory they must look to consolidate territory in order to ensure that there is no space for the extremists to find fertile ground once more. Improving the security apparatus, bringing back basic amenities, resettling those that lost their homes and publicly campaigning against extremist thought and hatred are immediate steps that must be taken. Even then however, preventing each and every terrorist attack – a fact Pakistan is painfully aware of – is nigh impossible. Retaking the city where Baghdadi’s “Islamic Caliphate” was formed is crucial in the fight against IS. Iraq must continue its efforts to maintain pressure, and Pakistan must also assist however possible – this time however, it is hoped that the state chooses to keep the public apprised about what’s happening as well.