Sharif dares Pakistan army over Mumbai terror attacks
The ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday exacerbated the war of words that recently broke out between him and Pakistan’s ruling establishment over the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The National Security Committee (NSC), Pakistan’s top civil-military body tasked to take crucial national security and foreign policy decisions, had called Sharif’s public admission that Pakistani terrorists carried out the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, baseless.
On Tuesday, after his appearance at the accountability court where he is being tried for corruption, the former three-time Prime Minister broke his silence over his altercation with the Pakistani army in the 2016 NSC huddle. Sharif, as per an exclusive Dawn news report, in that meeting had raised the issue of Pakistan’s growing international isolation because of behind-the-scenes support by military to banned terror groups, including Jaish-e-Muhammad, Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Haqqani Network.
But it turned into a controversy and was dubbed as “Dawn leaks”, Sharif recalled on Tuesday. “The time has come that the country should know who was responsible for terrorism and the current state of affairs. What have we turned this country into? Who introduced terrorism to this beautiful country? The time has come to decide who is a patriot and who is a traitor. Who led Pakistan towards isolation and has brought the country to a stage where the international community is not ready to accept Pakistan’s narrative?” he asked demanding the national commission be tasked to find the causes.
“I am not just an ordinary citizen but a three-time prime minister elected by the people of Pakistan. I am privy to many realities and would reveal truth if a commission is formed,” he said.
Addressing a rally in northwestern Buner district on Monday night, Sharif said the guilty party, whether him or those levelling allegations against him, should be publicly hanged once the commission’s verdict comes.
Later on Tuesday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during his address at the National Assembly said it was unacceptable that Sharif was being called a “traitor,” by political opponents following his admission of Pakistan’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Abbasi reiterated that Sharif was not the only one who had raised the issue of support for terrorism in Pakistan. Former president Gen Pervez Musharraf, former DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, former National security Adviser (NSA) Maj Gen Mahmud Ali Durrani and former interior minister Rehman Malik have also spoken about it, the PM said.
“We will never let our land be used against any other country,” he said. Following his remarks, the opposition parties staged a walkout in protest.
Incidentally, military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas, in 2011, had hinted at the involvement of retired ISI officials in the 2008 Mumbai attacks.