Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Pakistan rejects Nawaz Sharif's comments on 26/11

Pakistan rejects Nawaz Sharif's comments on 26/11

"Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and I stand behind our Quaid".

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday termed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's public acknowledgement that militant organisations were active in his country as a serious disclosure. It is absolutely unacceptable.

The references to Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are particularly noteworthy.

"Nawaz Sharif said that he neither said any such thing, nor can it be said on the basis of assumptions that planning for the Mumbai attacks was done in Pakistan", said the PM, who met Nawaz shortly after the NSC meeting ended. "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", a statement released by a PML-N spokesperson added. Condemning Sharif's assertions, the NSC further said, "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".

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On Monday, Sharif stuck to his guns, telling a political rally in the northern town of Buner that a commission should be formed to probe his statement.

When a reporter pointed to Sharif's acknowledgment of the presence of "non-state actors" in the country, his daughter Maryam, who was accompanying him, replied: "So then who was Zarb-i-Azb [military operation] conducted against?"

"Will Prime Minister Modi show the courage of conviction and the 56-inch chest to ensure that action is taken against the perpetrators of 26/11, who are neither being adequately tried nor punished in Pakistan?"

A series of military operations have displaced the Taliban from their former strongholds in the country's northwestern tribal districts, but sporadic attacks continue to happen. We strongly believe that the handlers were in Pakistan.

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Operation Zarb-e-Azb was a joint military offensive conducted by the Pakistan Armed Forces against various militant group in 2014.

Dawn quoted Sharif saying that Pakistan had become "isolated" as the world refuses to believe the nation is serious about battling terrorism, despite the government and army continually pointing to the thousands of military and civilian casualties sustained fighting domestic insurgent groups.

Pakistan's name was already in the grey list, he added.

It faces sanctions if it does not implement reforms by this summer.

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The Supreme Court disqualified three-time prime minister Sharif from office in July past year over unreported sources of monthly income of less than $3,000 from a United Arab Emirates company, a salary he denied ever receiving.

It also puts paid to attempts by his PML (N) party to project Dawn's account as misleading.

Other parties, too, criticised the three-time prime minister's comments.

Sharif, who was answering a question about his ouster, steered the conversation towards foreign policy and national security by saying that Pakistan has isolated itself in worldwide arena despite giving sacrifices in war on terror. A party is formed on an ideological basis.

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