A belated realisation seems to have dawned upon Pakistan that its state-sponsored policy of exporting terror to India and other parts of the world is giving it diminishing returns globally, on an untold magnitude. Domestically, an unannounced surgical strike by neighbour India has left it badly wounded.
It's overhyped, overawed military is looking for excuses in the form of denial and terror outfits. Terror outfits which, till the other day, were boasting of waging jihad against India. Who have been telling their boys that on being launched, they would go straight to jannat (heaven) to have fun with dozens of hoors (heavenly beauties).
But they, to their surprise, have now discovered that the 'home delivery' of death by the Indian army is a sure shot way to jahannum (hell). The pampered Pakistani diplomats, who walked with a certain swagger till recently, have now found out that they are treated like pariahs by their counterparts abroad and on their missions in Islamabad.
It is not surprising then, that the Dawn was chosen as the publication of choice for leaking this belated realisation – that has now dawned upon the civil and military establishment in Pakistan. The 'exclusive', which the popular Pakistani daily has published, is in fact 'explosive'.
The contents of the report are significant for two reasons. First, the authority with which Cyril Almeida has written the report, about a high level meeting in Islamabad, gives a clear sense that this could not have been written by the author and published by the Dawn had the briefing not come from the topmost civilian authority – narrating their woes vis-à-vis the military establishment and the bitter harvest that they were reaping by nurturing nurseries of terror all across Pakistan. The report itself says that "military officials declined to comment."
The report says that on Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a high level meeting of top civil and military officials. It stated that the Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Rizwan Akhtar, was also present. At this meeting, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry gave a separate presentation on Pakistan's growing global isolation.
The report reads, "the presentation by the foreign secretary summarised the results of the recent diplomatic outreach by Pakistan, the crux being that Pakistan faces diplomatic isolation and that the government’s talking points have been met with indifference in major world capitals."
In a way, the Pakistan foreign secretary admitted that the world is convinced of India's position on the surgical strike that occurred on 29 September and of its argument that Pakistan had become the world's nursery of terrorism. It was also an admission that the Indian diplomatic offensive had hit the right buttons against Pakistan.
The report then goes on to confirm what India and the rest of the world has been saying all along – with the confirmation coming from none other than PM Sharif and his brother and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif: "At that point came the stunning and unexpectedly bold intervention by Shahbaz Sharif 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,"
"Astounded onlookers describe a stunned room that was immediately aware of the extraordinary, unprecedented nature of the exchange. To defuse tensions, Sharif himself addressed Akhtar and said that policies pursued in the past were state policies and as such they were the collective responsibility of the state and that the ISI DG was not being accused of complicity in present-day events," the report said.
India's surgical strike has been endorsed by all major powers in the world and also by the immediate neighbourhood countries. Pakistan foreign secretary was candid enough in telling his bosses that their relations with the United States could deteriorate further as the Americans were now demanding action against the Haqqani network. China's friendship too couldn't be taken for granted. What he didn't report, perhaps because it was far too disturbing for them, was Russia's open endorsement of India's surgical strike.
On Wednesday, the German Ambassador in India, Martin Ney, cited the 'right for anyone to defend its country (India) from any form of terrorism'. The line has been adopted by all major powers as well as the argument that 'every country (Pakistan) is legally obliged not to allow terror to emanate from its soil'. The twin arguments are being forwarded in India's favour and against Pakistan. As such, these are worrying signals for Pakistan.
The Pakistan establishment is now also being damned by some of its own senior leaders. Another report by the Dawn said that Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan told a joint session of parliament that Pakistan is isolated because it gives freedom to non-state actors: "The government has been completely unsuccessful in imposing restrictions on non-state actors according to the National Action Plan...You have isolated Pakistan...It is because you have given freedom to non-state actors."
The Pakistani civil and military establishment would be well advised to read a signed article by the vice-president of the European Parliament, Ryszard Czarnecki, published in EP Today, to realise the scale of anger and distrust the nation evokes in the Western world. It is worth noting that this piece was written and published after India conducted the surgical strike across the Line of Control.
"India deserves global support in its fight against terror emanating from Pakistan, for if left unchecked, these individuals and groups would be attacking Europe and the West, soon. It is also important for the European Union to maintain pressure on Pakistan to eliminate the terror networks that operate within its borders," Czarnecki wrote.