Former Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has admitted that different militant organisations are active in his country, and they had crossed the border to kill 150 people in western Indian city of Mumbai on (26/11) November 26, 2008.
In an interview to ‘Dawn’ daily on Saturday, Sharif said: “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?”
The leader of ruling Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) also said that the global community isolated Islamabad because of such a policy. At the same time, he stressed that Pakistan has sacrificed a lot. However, the world is not ready to accept Islamabad’s view on the current political situation in South Asia because of this policy, added Sharif. The ousted PM further said: “It’s absolutely unacceptable (to allow non-state actors to cross the border and commit terrorism there). Russian President (Vladimir) Putin has said it. Chinese President Xi (Jinping) has said it.”
Diplomats are of the opinion that Sharif sent a strong message to the Indian, Pakistani and American Armies by issuing such a statement ahead of the crucial Parliamentary Elections in his country.
Sharif has recently been forced to leave the Office of Prime Minister (as per the Supreme Court’s directive) because of his alleged involvement in corruption. That’s why he appointed his brother Shehbaz Sharif as his party’s candidate for the post of prime minister in the 2018 General Elections. Meanwhile, the powerful Pakistani Army is backing cricketer-turned-politician (and Sharif’s political rival) Imran Khan for the top post.
According to diplomats, Sharif wanted to send a positive message to India and the US in such a situation. Currently, the global community is trying hard to restore peace in different parts of the world. US President Donald Trump is all set to hold a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore next month. Sharif – who wants his country to join the initiative – has made it clear that Pakistan will be in trouble, if it continues to waging war against neighbouring India and to help terror outfits. The former PM wanted to tell the Pak Army that ‘all-weather friend’ China and ‘new friend’ Russia, too, don’t like this policy. It is to be noted that President Trump has already criticised Pakistan for harbouring terrorism.
26/11 terror attack in Mumbai
In 2017, Pak Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa hinted that Pakistan was ready to resolve outstanding issues with India through peaceful negotiation. And now, the ruling party has indicated that it is eager to restore peace in South Asia.
Interestingly, Sharif volte faced about the comment on Sunday, saying that his remarks on 2008 Mumbai attack were grossly misinterpreted by the Indian media. Speaking at a media conference in Lahore, a spokesperson for the former PM said: “At the outset, statement of Nawaz Sharif has been grossly misinterpreted by the Indian media. Unfortunately, a section of Pakistani electronic and social media has intentionally or unintentionally not only validated, but has lent credence to the malicious propaganda of the Indian media without going through the full facts of the statement.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Army has taken note of the comments made by Sharif on the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, with Army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeting: “The National Security Committee meeting suggested to the PM to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow (Monday) morning.”
Commenting on the issue, Opposition leader Imran said that Sharif was dancing to the Indian PM’s tune in order to hide his involvement in corruption cases.
Political experts opine that Sharif backtracked on the Mumbai issue, as he is under attack from opponents for allegedly supporting the Indian narrative on the terror attack case and harming national interests.
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