Nawaz Sharif's 26/11 remarks create stir in Pakistan

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The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Monday said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi must take the Parliament into confidence about the decisions taken in the National Security Council (NSC) meeting. Without naming Nawaz Sharif, the official spokesperson said that the meeting was suggested "to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident".

The daily also reported that PPP leader Manzoor Watoo had declared the interview to be a serious attack on Pakistan's national interests, and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal secretary general Liaqat Baloch said Sharif's statement was "shocking" and "supported the narrative of anti-Pakistan forces".

Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by his country's Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said, "We have isolated ourselves". Despite sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. "We must look into it", Sharif told Dawn.

"After all, it was (the then) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most important and most hard decision on national security in Pakistan's history by making the country a nuclear power in May 1998", the spokesman said while referring to the nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan immediately after India conducted nuclear test in Pokhran. Explain it to me. Mr Sharif had said on Friday, according to the Karachi-based newspaper.

With Sharif's new stance, it should be clear that there is reason for the Pakistan court to drag its feet on the trial since the high-ups in Islamabad are aware that the non-state actors like Saeed acted with the full knowledge of the ISI and consequently of the Pakistan Government.

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Even PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the former interior minister, did not endorse Sharif's statement.

Pakistan continues to await cooperation from India regarding the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and the Samjhota Express attack, the statement said. "Can anybody think that Nawaz Sharif will say such things", he said. Nawaz noted in the interview in a reference to the Mumbai attacks-related trials which have stalled in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

Shahbaz Sharif, the president of Pakistan Muslim League (N) and younger brother of former PM Nawaz Sharif has clarified that the controversial report had "incorrectly attributed remarks to PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif, which do not represent PML-N's party policy".

Since the publication of the interview, Indian media has declared his statements a "confession" of Pakistan's role in the Mumbai attacks, which left 166 people dead, and demanded swift response from New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Army will today hold a high-level meeting to discuss the "recent misleading media statement" about Mumbai terror attack made by the ousted prime minister. Commonly called the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the city was under siege till November 29.

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