The Mumbai attacks are casting shadows over Pakistan's domestic politics in a number of important ways. The debate over limiting army's political role and a need on its part to surrender more power to the elected government is off from the agenda, at least for the time being. The war hysteria started by Indian media has been reciprocated by the other side. Refusal to provide any evidence and an insistence on handing over a number of 'wanted' people has crated further problems. The scary statement by the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherji that New Delhi keeps all options open and that India might act on its own if the world failed to get Pakistan to arrest those named by it has helped create the perception that the country might come under attack. This has led to calls from the Pakistani media and a number of politicians that the government react more vigorously to what is being interpreted as jingoism. All opposition parties have pledged support to the government in defence of the country and the army has said it was fully prepared to defend it. As long as the tension remains at the present level, the army will be on the centre stage. Any attack by India, even a so-called surgical strike, would leads to devastating consequences. What is more it would enhance the influence of the armed forces while weakening the civilian government. The debate regarding the role of the ISI is similarly off the agenda. There was a consensus built up over the years that the agency should have no role in domestic politics. This had encouraged the government to close its political wing. But with external threats taking centre stage, it is being argued that foreign agents in the country need to be kept under surveillance. A half-baked attempt to bring the agency under civilian control had backfired a couple of months back. It was being hoped that the government would again try to introduce civilian oversight through a well thought put policy. This too will have to put off as long as things do not normalise with India. A member of the National Assembly said the other day that the whole nation stood behind its armed forces and the ISI. The peace process between India and Pakistan has been dealt a severe blow. The composite dialogue has been called off by New Delhi. The domestic peaceniks are meanwhile on the defensive. The Mumbai attacks have been a setback to the elected government's attempts to regain some of its turf from the powers that be. The way Mr Zardari changed tone on Indian charges, first admitting that non-state actors could have been involved, then denying that any Pakistani citizen was connected with the attacks is being interpreted as the result of increasing pressure on the government from well known quarters. This has led to a perception that there are multiple centres of power in the country and the government is too weak to assert itself. Had the Indian demands been less peremptory, it would have helped the government in Islamabad to act with more confidence. How long the civilian administration continues to retreat remains to be seen. The sheer audacity and professionalism of the Mumbai attacks has sent alarm bells ringing around the world capitals. Even a close friend like China wants a probe to find out the mastermind behind the attacks. Both Washington and London have held LeT solely responsible. Whatever the outcome of the ongoing Pak-India face-off, a thorough and transparent enquiry that can satisfy the world will have to be conducted and the real perpetrators punished irrespective of where the leads go. The ongoing international pressure on the government and the army to rein in the militants is likely to increase in days to come. It is difficult to ignore those who happen to be the principal suppliers of weaponry and its spare parts and who bail the country out by sending proper signals to the IFOs at times of need. Religious organisations, particularly those associated with militancy are henceforth going to be under intense watch. Reforms of the seminaries would once again be high on the agenda of the donors. . While it was possible in the past for banned organisations to continue to work under changed names, governments will have to be stricter in the enforcement of the ban henceforth. E-mail: