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Pak’s Nawaz Sharif govt orders Army to act against terrorists

NEW DELHI: In an extraordinary development, the Pakistan government, rattled by its global isolation following the Uri terror attack+ , has told its all-powerful army in no uncertain terms to take “visible action” against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups, Dawn newspaper reported thursday, citing high-level confidential sources.

Dawn reported that the civilian Nawaz Sharif+ government’s officials openly confronted army officials – in what it called an “extraordinary exchange” – at a secret meeting on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said at a presentation at the meeting that despite recent diplomatic outreach, Islamabad “faces diplomatic isolation+and that the government’s talking points have been met with indifference in major world capitals.”

Following that presentation, the civilian government gave a clear message to the army – “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… (and) fresh attempts be made to conclude the Pathankot investigation and restart the stalled Mumbai attacks-related trials in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court,” Dawn wrote.

Further, foreign secretary Chaudhry reportedly shocked those at the meeting by saying that “while China has reiterated its support for Pakistan, it too has indicated a preference for a change in course by Pakistan.”

Following the meeting, Pakistani spy agency ISI’s director general Rizwan Akhtar and National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua, are set to travel to all four provinces, with the government’s message for provincial apex committees and ISI sector commanders.

Dawn further reported that there was “an extraordinary verbal confrontation between (Pakistan’s) Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the (Pakistan spy agency) ISI,” and that it appeared “to indicate a high-stakes new approach” by the Sharif government.

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