A resident of Tabqa city touring the streets on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in nearby Raqqa city August 24, 2014. I
A resident of Tabqa city touring the streets on a motorcycle waves an Islamist flag in celebration after Islamic State militants took over Tabqa air base, in nearby Raqqa city August 24, 2014. IReuters

After Iraq and Syria, ISIS propaganda signs and poster are seen in several parts of Pakistan and India, hinting that ultra-radical Islamist group is trying to gain footholds in South Asia.

A group of Pakistan's rebels who call themselves Jamat-ul Ahrar, declared its support for the Islamic State fighters, who have captured large territory in Iraq and Syria in a drive to set up a self-declared 'caliphate.'

"IS (Islamic State) is an Islamic Jihadi organization working for the implementation of the Islamic system and creation of the Caliphate," Jamat-ul Ahrar's leader and a prominent Taliban figure, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told Reuters.

"We respect them. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide."

Also, ISIS with its territorial capture, mass executions, and beheadings, has drawn the attention and support of many younger fighters in the region. Furthermore, Al Qaeda's leaders, who mostly holed up in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, are now perceived as "stale" and "ineffective" on die-hard jihadi social media forums that handle the militant recruits.

Security experts believe that Islamic State's increasing pull is the inspiration behind al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri announcement to establish an Indian franchise and thus raise the flag of jihad across South Asia, namely India and Pakistan.

ISIS pamphlets in Pakistan

There are also reports of a local party distributing "Islamic State" pamphlets in the Pakistani city and eastern Afghanistan in the past few weeks, in a move to boost its influence in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region

A 12-page booklet called "Fatah" (Victory), published in the Pashto and Dari languages of Afghanistan, and was circulated in Afghan refugee campgrounds on the outskirts of Peshawar.

The pamphlet calls on local residents to support the militant group, and the logo features an AK-47 assault rifle. Cars with IS stickers have also been spotted around Peshawar.

Sameeulah Hanifi, a prayer leader in a Peshawar neighborhood, said the pamphlets are distributed by a local group called Islami Khalifat, who are reportedly supporter of Islamic State.

"I know some people who received copies of this material either from friends or were given at mosques by unidentified IS workers," he told Reuters.

A Pakistani security official said the pamphlets came from Afghanistan's neighbouring Kunar province where a group of Taliban fighters were spotted distributing them.

"We came across them 22 days ago and we are aware of their presence here," said the official. "Pakistani security agencies are working on the Pakistan-Afghan border and have arrested a number of Taliban fighters and recovered CDs, maps, literature in Persian, Pashto and Dari.We will not permit them to work in our country and anyone who is involved in this will be crushed by the government."

Islamic State Recruitment in India

Following the neighboring state, signs of IS influence is also seen in Kashmir, the India-Pakistan disputed region which has served as battleground of militants since decades.

Security officials in Indian-held Kashmir said they are trying their best to figure out the level of support for the Arab group after IS flags and banners spotted in the area.

Intelligence sources in New Delhi and Kashmir said the flags were first seen on June 27 in Srinagar, and then again July during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Some IS graffiti were also seen on walls of buildings in Srinagar. A police officer said that youngsters carrying Islamic State flags at anti-India rallies are identified but no arrests is made.

"The majority of them have no religious bent of mind," he said. "Some of them, less than one per cent, of course are religious and radicalized and end up joining militant ranks. They are influenced by al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State."

ISIS is also trying to lure Indians Muslims, who make up the world's third-biggest Islamic population. Although they have distanced away from foreign battlefields despite repeated calls from al-Qaeda.