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Pakistan constrained to effect arrests after Pathankot

Mon, Jan 11, 2016, 06:44 PM
Pakistan is not only appearing to be investigating but is also seeming to be serious about investigations into the Pathankot airbase terror attack following the forwarding of evidence by India of Islamabad's home-grown terrorists masterinding the attack.

Islambabad has made tens of arrests in the Punjab province's Jhelum, Gujranwala and Bahawalpur districts. Anyone connected with terrorists is being arrested to get to the bottom, seemingly, of the home-grown terrorists by Pakistan.

The change of attitude was because of its high time. Hitherto the attacks were on Indian civilian targets, and the Delhi leadership then not deciding it was high time to go all out. But the latest attack is on Indian military might at Pathankot. New Delhi cannot take it for granted.

The change of incumbency in the Delhi leadership from the Congress to the BJP-led government has forced Islamabad to apparently take the matter seriously. After all, you cannot use the nuclear arms as a pariah state when your friends and masters such as the US have stopped giving Islamabad any credibility following the killing of Osama bin Laden by American Navy Seals in a daring operation in Abbottabad Army garrison in Pakistan. Islamabad had all along denied they had anything to do with bin Laden till the Seals operation sealed their fate.

Pakistan has much turning and twisting to do to get back even a modicum of credibility.

The recent activity in Pakistan of visits by US Secretary of Home John Kerry and Saudi Foreign Minister Abdel al-Jubeir seem to have cooked the Pakistani goose. The world has by now realized that the BJP-led regime in India is not going to take such brazen attacks lying down.

The US and Saudi Arabia have apparently advised the Pakistani regime that no more India would let bygones be bygones. Besides, they have the acknowledged right to attack Pakistani bases in the Occupied Kashmir. Any attack by India on the bases and madrasas in the Occupied Kashmir would put India on the road to Central Asia. This neither Islamabad nor its allies would like to be the case. It's a different matter if India goes on regardless with or without the inquiry and its eventual sham findings.

Reports from Pakistan suggest that those detained were being grilled with a barrage of questions. It cannot be make believe because Pakistan now stands accused in the world's eye. And after the Paris attack by ISIS elements, the ambivalent West is keeping its fingers crossed without appearing to be diplomatic. Also the fallout of Syrian and other refugees from Islamic countries is making its presence felt in Europe.

Besides, India making the foreign secretary level talks conditional on the outcome of the investigations by Pakistan into its home-sponsored good terrorists, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the extraordinary gesture of calling on his Pakistani counterpart on Christmas has left Islamabad with little room to manoeuvre. Game's being up, Pakistan is forced to act in a nuclear weapon atmosphere. There is little chance to act rogue by the Pakistani Army or the Inter-Services Intelligence.

With its options having been narrowed down, Pakistan was guided to hold two high-level meetings in 2 days. Monday's high-level meeting resulted in Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif constituting a high-level Joint Investigation Team comprising Intelligence Bureau, Inter-Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Federal Investigations Agency and the local police.

Significantly, much against the practice of self-denail, Nawaz Sharif directed the team to line up the terror master minds and others before the courts.

India, however, reserves the right to demand and get the deportation of Jaishe chief, Maulana Masood Azhar, who was arrested in Kashmir and detained in New Delhi. His release was also effected by a terrorist operation. This should be made clear to Pakistan as a necessary condition for Pathankot, Parliament and other terror attacks.
Agency: Ap7am Desk
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