RAWALPINDI – While militant groups rapidly move towards a decisive defeat in the Middle East, as many as 650 Pakistanis said to be fighting in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and some Central Asian states are expected to move back home.

According to Dawn, the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) has urged law enforcement agencies to take preventive measures to ensure that these fighters do not return to Pakistan.

The sources said that out of 650 people, the intelligence agencies had so far identified 132 militants fighting in the Middle East. Their return could result in increased sectarianism in different parts of the country.

“The NCMC directed the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to also keep surveillance on families of the individuals who had travelled to conflict zones,” the report said while quoting unnamed sources.

The NCMC had previously issued a similar letter to all law enforcement agencies in January as well. The copies of the letter were also forwarded to the provincial and federal governments.