ISLAMABAD - After years of vague blames on the ‘foreign hand’ for terror and sabotage acts in the country, Pakistan seems to have finally pinned the ‘evil alien’ as Islamabad prepares to give a befitting response to New Delhi for pulling the strings from behind to destabilise the only Muslim nuclear power.

The visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters on Saturday was much more than a ‘briefing’ by the chief spymaster at a time when the top political and military leadership are convinced of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)’s growing role in fanning terrorisms and extremism in Pakistan.

With the government claiming that evidence was available to prove RAW’s involvement, Prime Minister Sharif’s concern over “actions of foreign intelligence agencies in destabilising our country” is not without reason. The evidence however is yet to be made public or brought before some relevant international forum.

The premier expressed his serious concerns about recent statements by Indian political leadership referring obviously to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that “terrorism could be countered by terrorism” and for this end “why our soldiers should be used against terrorism, terrorists should do it for us”.

After the briefing, Premier Sharif said that, “We would take all possible measures to counter any anti-Pakistan acts and collectively defeat all designs of our enemies and make Pakistan a secure and affluent country no matter what the cost.” He emphasised the need for more proactive and coordinated role of all the intelligence agencies to bring optimum effect to defeat all threats.

The realisation at the highest level of RAW’s involvement in terror-related activities to destabilise Pakistan is significant and the ‘proactive’ response as declared by the premier could give air to yet another Pak-Indian standoff. People at the helm say that Prime Minister Sharif, Army Chief Raheel Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammed Asif and the ISI have seen ‘evidences of RAW involvement’ and “Pakistan can no more remain silent”.

Just before the all important meeting between Prime Minister Sharif, General Sharif and General Akhtar, Balochistan home minister Sarfaraz Akbar Bugti nominated RAW for the Mustung incident where 22 passengers were killed after being kidnapped. RAW is also being accused of sponsoring the Safoora massacre and promoting insurgency in Balochistan.

Earlier this month, PM Sharif had asked Afghanistan to stop RAW from creating unrest in Pakistan. PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, other cabinet members and foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry have been blaming the Indian intelligence agency of orchestrating terror in Pakistan.

“The top leadership has decided to give India a response they deserve. We will drag them everywhere and will not end the campaign until they stop this evil agenda”, said a close aide of the premier. “India should realise that we are no walkovers. We are a nuclear power and have the resources to hit back. We can’t allow them to continue their nefarious agenda”, he said.

An official statement after the meeting on Saturday quoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as saying that terrorism and extremism were the biggest challenges to a secure and prosperous Pakistan. “The PM showed his concern over actions of foreign intelligence agencies, in destabilising our country”, said the statement.

The prime minister reiterated the resolve that “we will collectively defeat all designs of our enemies and make Pakistan a secure and affluent country no matter what the cost”. It added, “Nawaz Sharif lauded the efforts and achievements of ISI in countering terrorists’ attempts and paid rich tributes to the officers and men of the agency who have laid their lives in the line of duty”.

The premier said, “We are proud of our premier intelligence agency and they deserve due recognition and acknowledgement.” He emphasised the need for more proactive and coordinated role of all intelligence agencies to bring optimum effects to defeat all threats.

The prime minister also expressed his serious concerns about recent statements by Indian Political leadership. He said in unequivocal terms that “we would take all possible measures to counter any anti Pakistan acts”.

ISI DG briefed the prime minister and the army chief on internal and external security situation of the country and ongoing counter terrorism operations, added the statement. He also briefed about the recent ongoing successful Intelligence Based Operations and number of terrorists attempts averted in near past and terrorists networks busted across the country, the statement said.

“Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Special Advisers to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatemi were also present on this occasion”, it concluded.

Defence analyst, Major General Jamshed Ayaz (r) said, “I have served in the intelligence services and I am familiar with their working. India wants to divert the attention of international community from Kashmir by such activities”. “We need peaceful relations with regional countries and all members of the region should play their positive role to bring peace in the region”, he remarked.

Another defence analyst Lt-Gen (r) Moinuddin Haider said, “It (Manohar Parrikar’s statement) is very irresponsible statement of a high level Indian functionary and it is against all the diplomatic norms. Pakistan has found Indian involvement in terrorist activities many times in recent years... The government has launched successful operations against the terrorists and apprehended many of them. Now, India is using Pakistani citizens in sabotage activities and trying to create unrest in Pakistan.”

International Affairs Expert, A Z Hilali said, “Indian leadership is confused and the statement of Indian leader is quite cheap. It does not suit to a politician to issue such a statement which could jeopardise relations with the neighbouring countries.” He maintained, “This statement proves that India is backing terrorism in the region, and especially in Pakistan. Indian intelligence agency RAW is operating in Pakistan and has funded different people to create unrest in the country.”

Former military spokesman Maj-Gen (r) Athar Abbas said, “The statement of Indian minister proves that India is on the back of terrorists who are creating unrest in the country. India has already threatened Pakistan that it will lose Balochistan if it does not change its policy on Kashmir.” The Indian statement, he said, is very obvious regarding its ill intentions towards Pakistan. “However, Pakistan is acting very responsibly to promote peace. India has adopted an aggressive foreign policy and we need to respond to India in the same tune”, he added.