ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the ruling party, swang into action to clarify the remarks attributed to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a media report regarding Mumbai attacks after army suggested a meeting of National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the issue.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter-Service Public Relations, on Sunday, tweeted: “NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning,” without naming Sharif and the media outlet.
NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) May 13, 2018
Nawaz, in a recent interview to 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?”
His remarks were played up by the Indian media as an admission of Pakistan’s involvement in the terrorist attacks, even though similar questions and statements have been raised from civilian and security officials in Pakistan earlier.
Soon after the meeting call by the military, PML-N President, and Punjab Chief Minister also took to Twitter rejected all assertions, direct or implied, made in news report of DAWN, dated 12-5-18″. He added, “State of Pakistan & all its institutions stand together in the global fight against terrorism. We strongly believe that interests of Pakistan r supreme to all personal & political interests”.
PMLN rejects all assertions, direct or implied, made in news report of DAWN,dated 12-5-18. State of Pakistan & all its institutions stand together in the global fight against terrorism. We strongly believe that interests of Pakistan r supreme to all personal & political interests
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 13, 2018
Shehbaz Sharif clarified, “The report “has incorrectly attributed certain remarks to PMLN Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, which do not represent PMLN’s party policy”. There can and shall never be any compromise on any national interest, he added.
There can and shall never be any compromise on any national interest. The report has incorrectly attributed certain remarks to PMLN Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, which do not represent PMLN's party policy. https://t.co/jbzBvKa72B
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 13, 2018
The embattled party also issued a clarification late night, stating: “PMLN would like to set the record straight on the interview of PML-N Quaid carried yesterday by DAWN. At the outset, statement of the Quaid has been grossly misinterpreted by the Indian media. Unfortunately a section of Pakistani electronic & social media has intentionally or unintentionally not only validated but has lent credence to the malicious propaganda of Indian media without going through the full facts of the statement”.
Highlighting former PM’s performance, the statement said: “After all, it was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most important and most difficult decision on national security in Pakistan’s history by making the country a nuclear power in May 1998”.
However, Maryam Nawaz claimed in a tweet that media has been strictly told not to highlight the clarification issued by the PML-N and step up the propaganda. Continuing her claims regarding the involvement of invisible forces, she said: “Seems the planners are very desperate”
Media has been strictly told NOT to highlight PMLN clarification & step up the propaganda. Seems the planners are very desperate.
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) May 13, 2018
Sharif’s comments led to sharp response from opposition parties who are accusing him of subverting Pakistan’s interests.
Imran Khan said on Twitter, ” 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 300b stashed in his sons companies abroad.”
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman on Sunday slammed Nawaz Sharif for his recent remarks on the Mumbai attacks and said her party has strongly rejected his stance on the issue.
Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, weighing on the recent wave of discussion on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, remarked Sunday that the incident was used by India to malign Pakistan.
Nisar emphasised that the Indian government was to blame for the hold-up in the Mumbai attacks trial.
“India used the Mumbai attacks for its own despicable plans,” said Nisar, who has created differences with Nawaz over the role of Maryam Nawaz in party politics.