The stage seems set for a confrontation between the Nawaz Sharif government and the Pakistani Army over the Uri attacks, its diplomatic fallout and the Indian Army’s retaliatory surgical strikes. Highly-placed sources in the Pakistani government told CNN-News18 that an increasingly assertive Sharif is of the view that the Army and its support to non-state actors like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba is spoiling the image of the country and his government abroad. Sharif has also taken it up with the Army the Pakistan Foreign Office’s concerns on four neighbouring nations siding with India in boycotting the SAARC summit following the Uri attacks. “The boycott of SAARC summit has caused embarrassment to Pakistan govt,” one source recounted the Foreign Office as having told the Pakistani Army.
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 establishment is livid over the CNN-News18 expose on Wednesday where 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).
Meanwhile, the civilian administration has told the Pakistani Army that it is difficult to keep a permanent lid on such information. On Thursday, Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that an “undisclosed” meeting took place between the civil and military leaderships in Islamabad on the sidelines of an All-Party Conference on Monday.
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