PESHAWAR: The National Security Committee (NSC) Monday discussed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent media statement about the 2008 Mumbai attacks and termed it ‘incorrect and misleading’.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the meeting at the Prime Minister House which was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, chiefs of the Navy and Air Force, Defence Minister and acting Foreign Minister Khurram Dastgir and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah.
Media reports said the meeting was briefed on Pakistan’s investigations and cooperation following the Mumbai attacks.
“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,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office after the meeting.
The statement said that Pakistan continues to await cooperation from India regarding the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav and the Samjhota Express attack. “The National Security Committee resolved that Pakistan shall continue to play its due role in fighting the war against terrorism at all fronts,” the statement added.
Nawaz Sharif in an interview with Dawn newspaper had said: “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?”
Nawaz Sharif’s reported comments drew severe criticism from the opposition PPP, PTI and defense analysts after which the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor announced that it has been suggested to the prime minister to call an NSC meeting to clarify the country’s stance on the statement.
The PML-N immediately issued a clarification on Sunday stating that the ex-PM’s statement was grossly misinterpreted by Indian media.
However, Nawaz Sharif in another statement on Monday apparently stood firm on his previous statement, saying that he hasn’t said anything wrong and he wants answers for his questions.
Talking to reporters inside the Accountability Court hearing corruption cases against him, Nawaz lamented that the person who conducted atomic tests is being called a traitor. He insisted that there was nothing wrong in his statement. He added that the armed forces, civilians and police have given tremendous sacrifices for Pakistan.