ISLAMABAD: Despite strong backlash from opposition parties and even members of his own party, former premier and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday said he will say the right thing “come what may”.
“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?” these are the remarks uttered by Mr. Sharif that sparked the countrywide controversy.
Speaking to reporters on the premises of the accountability court hearing corruption cases against him, Mr. Sharif read out a particular part of his interview published in a leading English daily and asked: “What wrong have I said?”
He said he is not the first one to have said that, but the then interior minister Rehman Malik, former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and former National Security Adviser Major General (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani also gave such statements.
The PML-N supreme leader’s statement about the November 2008 Mumbai attacks in an interview to a local newspaper has triggered a storm of criticism from people of all social strata, especially politicos.
Not only opposition parties, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehree-i-Insaf (PTI), launched a frontal attack on Sharif after his statement made headlines at home and abroad, but also leaders belonging to the ruling PML-N didn’t endorse his statement.
When asked India has been dragging its feet to provide evidence in the Mumbai attacks case, Mr. Sharif said: “We too have sufficient evidence.”
He said the world is not lending an ear to our narrative. The country’s security agencies and people rendered immense sacrifices in terms of laying down their lives for the defense of the motherland, he added.
Mr. Sharif lamented that the person who made the country a nuclear power and eliminated terrorism is being branded a traitor.
Are the people who were behind the events of 1971 and those who abrogated the constitution true patriots, he asked.
The former premier acknowledged that Kulbhushan Jadhav was a spy and member of Indian forces.