Sharif’s remarks on militants “serious”: Sitharaman
New Delhi, May 13: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today dubbed as a “serious disclosure” Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif publicly acknowledging that militant organisations were active in his country and said it proved India’s position that the “handlers of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack were in Pakistan”.
For the first time, Sharif also questioned Pakistan’s policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai, according to a media report.
“Well, it is very serious disclosure. India’s position has been that the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack operated from Pakistan. We strongly believe that the handlers of the attack were in Pakistan,” Sitharaman told a press conference here, in response to a query..
“It (Sharif’s remarks) only proves that India’s stand has been right all the way,” she said.
Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by his country’s Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said Pakistan has isolated itself.
“We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,” Sharif had told ‘Dawn’.
Without naming Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar’s militant organisations — Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad, Sharif said, “Militant organisations are active in Pakistan.”
To a question on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s call for a unilateral ceasefire in the state during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra, Sitharaman said, “I think it is important to handle J&K affairs with a great deal of sensitivity.
“The Indian Army will have to make sure that India is a safe country. It has to handle firmly any terrorism which threatens peace and harmony of J&K and the rest of India also.”
Pak Army calls high-level meet to discuss Sharif’s statement
Islamabad, May 13 (PTI) The Pakistan Army will hold a high-level meeting tomorrow to discuss the “recent misleading media statement” about Mumbai terror attack, officials said today, a day after ousted premier Nawaz Sharif questioned the policy to allow “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai.
Sharif, for the first time, publicly acknowledged in an interview that militant organisations are active in Pakistan and questioned the policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai.
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Twitter that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was suggested to call a meeting of the high-powered National Security Committee (NSC), a platform of top civil and military leadership to discuss key national issues.
“The NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning,” said Ghafoor.
In an exclusive interview with Dawn on Friday, Sharif also criticised the apparent delay in the conclusion of the Mumbai attack trial.
Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said Pakistan has isolated itself.
He is under attack from opponents as well as some of the estranged leaders from his Pakistan Muslims League-Nawaz (PML-N) party for allegedly supporting the Indian narrative on the Mumbai attack case and harming national interests.
Leading opposition leader and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said that Sharif was speaking the language of (Indian Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and cooperating against enemies of Pakistan to harm the country.
“Nawaz Sharif is the modern-day Mir Jafar who collaborated with the British to enslave his nation for personal gains. Nawaz speaking Modi’s language against Pak State simply to protect his ill-gotten Rs 300 billion stashed in his sons’ companies abroad,” he said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Sharif’s younger brother Shahbaz Sharif said that media misrepresented views of the former prime minister.
“Can anybody think that Nawaz Sharif will say such things,” he said.
But already Sharif’s interview has created a huge controversy in Pakistan.