Days after India issued an ultimatum to Pakistan linking the face of the foreign secretary level talks to demonstrable action by Pakistan against terrorists in connection with the Pathankot attack, Nawaz Sharif’s government has sprung into action.
After a high level meeting the Pakistan prime minister’s office announced that it has arrested suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists and sealed several offices. Later it turned out that one of those detained was JeM chief Masood Azhar. Though the Pakistan government has clarified that its crackdown was in the spirit of the co-operative approach there are several questions that still need to be asked before India welcomes the move and proceeds with the talks that Pakistan is keen to hold on the 15th of January. Has Nawaz Sharif cracked down as a direct result of the tough talk from India? Has Nawaz Sharif done enough to show Pakistan is keen on punishing the perpetrators of Pathankot? Is the action taken by Nawaz Sharif a just cosmetic step to salvage talks?
The other question is whether Pakistan will now ensure the prosecution of the detained terror suspects. There are many in India who see the detentions as a last ditch attempt by Nawaz Sharif government to salvage talks. India needs to assess whether the action is cosmetic or concrete.