ISLAMABAD—The al-Quba mosque and seminary was, until recently, a hive of activity. The sprawling complex, which sits in a quiet neighborhood of the Pakistani capital, is a center of religious and ideological indoctrination for those wanting to take up arms against Indian forces in Kashmir.
Now, however, the entrance to the seminary is locked. Two uniformed police officers, seated in a black pickup truck and reading newspapers, are stationed outside. The roadside, where there would normally be a gaggle of students, lies empty.
Al-Quba is home to the offices of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, ostensibly a charitable organization that provides humanitarian relief and basic medical care across Pakistan, but also a group designated by the United Nations Security Council as a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group. Its closure is a test of whether Pakistan, which has long pledged to crack down on terrorist organizations using its territory to launch attacks on India, will finally follow through on those promises.
The question is one that strikes at the heart of how power is distributed in Pakistan; of whether an elected civilian leader can exert control over the country’s powerful military; of whether Pakistan is truly willing to give up support for armed groups that it has used as proxies for decades; and of whether the country—which has long frustrated successive U.S. governments, likely none more so than Donald Trump’s administration—is truly changing its foreign-policy and security stances beyond a focus on neighboring India.