India’s sustained efforts at Pakistan’s international isolation have started to show results in Pakistan as well. Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that the Nawaz Sharif government has directed the military to act against terrorist groups including Jaish-e-Mohammad and its affiliates. The report highlighted friction between the power centres in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It also added fresh attempts would be made to conclude Pathankot investigation and restart Mumbai attack trials in an anti-terrorism court.
The Pakistan Muslim League- N government has also called for common consensus on several key issues by all major stake holders state.
At least two sets of actions have been agreed as a result of the most recent meeting that was held at an undisclosed location on Monday, a day ahead of the All Parties’ Conference.
ISI DG Gen Rizwan Akhtar, accompanied by National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua, is to travel to each of the four provinces with a message for provincial apex committees and ISI sector commanders.
The message: military-led intelligence agencies are not to interfere if law enforcement acts against militant groups that are banned or until now considered off-limits for civilian action. Gen Akhtar’s inter-provincial tour has begun with a visit to Lahore.
PM Sharif and the larger political fraternity in Pakistan are also getting increasingly wary of army chief General Raheel Sharif’s political ambitions.
On the other hand, the Pakistani Army’s a senior intelligence officer in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir confirmed the surgical strikes by Indian Special Forces that took place on September 30. The Army is furious that a civilian officer gave away details that Army had been steadfastly denying, including its hand in terror movement across the Line of Control (LoC).
The second set of action is that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed that fresh attempts should be made to conclude the investigation in the Pathankot terror attack and restart the stalled 26/11 Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.
The report also quoted tense exchanges between ISI officials and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif saying “Addressing Gen Akhtar, the younger Sharif complained that whenever action has been taken against certain groups by civilian authorities, the security establishment has worked behind the scenes to set the arrested free.”
For decades, Pakistani ISI and military intelligence have shielded and helped nurture terrorist groups in their country to carry out terrorism in India. With fresh reports claiming hundreds of terrorists preparing to infiltrate into India before the passes close in winters, Pakistan will need to act. Pakistan will come into extreme pressure from its allies who provide important economic and military aid to the country if it fails to act this time.