Yesterday, Pakistani security agencies caught an ‘Afghan intelligence spy’ from Chaman near the Af-Pak border. He was arrested with four SMGs, explosives, scores of bullets and a sniper scope. It is yet to be confirmed whether a confession will be recorded and aired on national television.

Last month the state unveiled the greatest intelligence coup in recent South Asian history. RAW agent Kulbushan Yadav (alternatively spelled Jadev or Jadhav by purists) spilled the beans on Indian involvement in Balochistan, and their role in aggravating insurgency and separatism in the province. Yadav’s confession was professionally recorded and edited, with subtitles available in all relevant languages.

Maybe if our security forces were half as adept at catching leaders of jihadist groups, and recording their confessions and modus operandi, over 70,000 civilians wouldn’t have lost their lives in the past decade and a half, and the debate over ‘actual motivation’ of radical Islamists would’ve been long redundant.

Since filmmakers at Aabpara never got into documenting jihadist chronicles – out of amiability as much as owing to a lack of buyers – the likes of TTP had to paint a gory picture through schoolchildren’s blood to get much craved attention and assert their motives.

A similar picture was painted in Lahore on Easter Sunday, by TTP faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. The establishment retaliated by airing Yadav’s confessions on TV, with Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed giving DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Bajwa company to show the world (i.e New Delhi) that the government and the Army are on the ‘same page’ when it comes to India. A page that keeps fluttering in the fluctuating political winds.

In the rush to release the video amidst Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit, the edits failed to incorporate ‘conclusive proof’ of Indian involvement in the Lahore carnage. The rush was evident once RAW Joint Secretary Anil Kumar Gupta was mentioned as the man Yadav reports to. There is no senior Indian intelligence official that goes by that name.

But it was important to tell President Rouhani about RAW’s ambitions on either side of the Pak-Iran border. For, just like Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan, the renewed relations with Iran have to be founded on antagonism vis-à-vis India. And of course, just because the idea has backfired for the past two decades in Kabul doesn’t mean that this new adventure with Tehran won’t work out.

While Islamabad has been sharing New Delhi’s designs with a disinterested Tehran, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was signing military deals with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, the country that instinctively looks to Pakistan for leadership when it comes to any military assignments the world over, signed defence pacts with the one country that almost all of Islamabad’s (Rawalpindi) guns are aimed at. But surely we can find a RAW agent or two from Dammam.

Also, how will India – a Hindu majority country – balance its ties with Iran and Saudi Arabia, when Pakistan – a Muslim brotherly nation – has failed to do so for decades? But New Delhi would have the advantage of not worrying about Sunni or Shia alliances. Modi wouldn’t know – or care – whether Kerala’s Cheraman Juma Masjid replica that he gifted King Salman is run by Shias or Sunnis. The worst bit is that he won’t be expected to know so either.

At a time when India is hobnobbing with Saudi, and Iran is following Afghanistan in not paying heed to our conclusive proofs against RAW does Pakistan have nothing going for it on the diplomatic front? We have China.

China – our economic, energy, security and diplomacy lifeline – blocked India’s resolution to ban Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) Chief Masood Azhar at the UN when Saudi Arabia is imposing joint sanctions on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) with the US. Earlier it had blocked similar resolutions targeting LeT's Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi.

Masood Azhar’s immunity was reestablished once the Pakistani JIT confirmed that the Pathankot attack was an inside job. The Pathankot attack was established as an inside job once Yadav was caught in Balochistan.

But if Masood Azhar, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Abdul Aziz all have immunity – in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and at the United Nations – then who is the Punjab operation against?

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar Spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said following the Gulshan-e-Iqbal blast that the group ‘had arrived’ in Lahore. But Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had already launched attacks at the Wagah border (November 2014) and Youhanabad (March 2015) in the past 18 months. However, this was before they ‘had arrived’ in Lahore. So, maybe the operation is against them now that they ‘have arrived’.

The Punjab operation is primarily targeting South Punjab, believed to be the origin of both the Pathankot and Lahore attacks. TTP, JeM, LeJ, LeT all have overlapped in the past decade to form one big monolithic jihadist conglomerate with multitudinous bases in southern Punjab.

How then would the security forces know which jihadist is from JeM and which is affiliated with the Taliban?

How would they know which one will self-implode in New Delhi and which will blow up in Islamabad?

How would they know which one to arrest and which one to let go?

How would they differentiate between the good and bad Taliban at a time when jihadists have longed ceased to know the difference themselves?

All these tough questions show that the establishment has its plate full at a time when New Delhi is trying to pull off a Bangladesh in Balochistan.

When we were preparing our first batch of good jihadists to liberate Kashmir – and Kabul – in the 1960s, New Delhi switched the battlefield to East Pakistan. Now that 50 years later we’re still trying to liberate Kashmir – and Kabul – it has moved the battlefield to Balochistan.

If only our policymakers addressed the Bengali and Balochi concerns that allow India to move the goalposts.

Kashmir, Kabul and Chabahar can – and will – be safeguarded from bases in Punjab. But it all depends on the success of the ongoing military operation in the province. Especially after it becomes clearer who the target of the operation is.