In an exclusive interview to Dawn published on Saturday, Nawaz Sharif had 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?"
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif today sought to defend his remarks over his country’s involvement in the dreaded 2008 Mumbai terror attack that had left around 166 dead. Holding that he will ‘speak truth come what may’, Sharif noted that former Pakistan military ruler Pervez Musharraf, former minister Rehman Malik and former NSA Major Gen (Retd) Mehmood Durrani had already confirmed what he said.
Sharif, who is facing series of corruption charges, said that he will speak the truth no matter what the consequences are.
Sharif had last week stirred a controversy in Pakistan with his confession during in an interview to Dawn that terror outfits are active in the country and openly questioned the policy that allowed them to cross the border to kill people in Mumbai. In an exclusive interview to Dawn published on Saturday, Sharif had 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?”
On Sunday, his party PML(N) issued a statement rejecting his remarks. Party president Shehbaz Sharif, who is brother of Nawaz, said that the party “rejects all claims made in the report (Sharif’s interview), be they direct or indirect”, Dawn newspaper reported. The PML(N) said that Indian media had ‘grossly misinterpreted’ Sharif’s remark.
“What did I say that was wrong in the interview?” Sharif, 68, asked today while talking to reporters outside an accountability court in Islamabad, where he had arrived with his daughter Maryam.
He also regretted being termed a traitor in media for asking questions. “Despite our 50,000 sacrifices (of lives), why is the world not paying heed to our narrative? And the person who is asking this question has been labelled a traitor.”
“I am being called a traitor on the media — they (media) are being made to call me a traitor,” he said.
“Are those who tore apart the country and the Constitution patriots? Are those who pulled out judges from their offices patriots?” “Will speak the truth no matter what the consequences are,” he opined.
Meanwhile, the National Security Committee also rejected Sharif’s remarks at a high-level meeting called today. The meeting was presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The NSC concluded “it was very unfortunate that the opinion arising out of either misconceptions or grievances was being presented in disregard of concrete facts and realities”.
“The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions,” Dawn newspaper quoted the NSC as saying in a statement.
According to the statement, it was also recalled during the meeting that the delay in conclusion of Mumbai attack case was caused by India, not Pakistan.