Despite Army, govt reject Mumbai terror claim; Nawaz says: ‘Will speak truth, come what may’
Hal0049357 Nawaz Sharif the Prime Minister of Pakistan...August 15, 2013; Islamabad, Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is interviewed by David Blair, chief foreign correspondent and David Munk foreign editor for the Daily Telegraph in his office at the Prime Ministers residence in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday August 15, 2013. Prime Minister Sharif is starting his third term as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. His last term as Prime Minister came to an abrupt end when General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup against him in 1999. ( Max Becherer/Polaris)
Islamabad, May 14: Yet another political crisis in Pakistan deepened further on Monday when both the government and all powerful Pakistan Army strongly denounced the recent statement of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif blaming his country’s establishment for the Mumbai terror attacks while the former premier refused to withdraw his controversial remarks saying that he stood by all what had appeared in media in this regard.
Pakistan’s highest civil military body, National Security Committee (NSC), that met here on Monday to discuss the situation arising out of the recent remarks of Nawaz Sharif about the 2008 Mumbai attacks, unanimously termed Nawaz statement as” incorrect and misleading.”
“The participants observed that 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, a statement after the meeting said
The statement claimed that the meeting was of the unanimous view that “delay in conclusion of Mumbai attack case was caused by India, not Pakistan”.
“Besides many other refusals during the investigation, the denial of access to the principal accused, AjmalQasab, and his extraordinarily hurried execution became the core impediment in the finalisation of the trial.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan continues to await cooperation from India regarding the arrest of Indian spy KulbhushanJadhav and the Samjhota Express attack, the statement said.
Immediately after the meeting Pak premier, ShahidKhaqanAbbasi met his mentor, Nawaz Sharif, who earlier in the day during a chat with reporters read excerpts from his interview to Dawn and dispelled the notion that the comments were falsely attributed to him.
“Will speak the truth come what may,” he said. “What did I say that was wrong in the interview?”
“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?” he had asked in the interview, referring to the Mumbai attacks-related trial proceedings which have stalled in the Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.
“Former president Pervez Musharraf, former interior minister Rehman Malik and former National Security Adviser Major-General (retd) MehmoodDurrani had already confirmed [what I said],” he added.
“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.”
He also called out those local media outlets that had criticised his words. “I am being called a traitor on the media — they [the media] are being made to call me a traitor.”
“Are those who tore apart the country and the Constitution patriots? Are those who pulled out judges from their offices patriots?”
Political analysts believe that these latest developments indicate further aggravation in the already tense civil-military relationship at a time when elections are just a couple of months away, Dawn reported. They believe that the announcement by the ISPR chief through social media indicates that the military authorities have decided to seriously take up the issue and that they want Prime Minister Abbasi’s stance over the matter.