Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has criticised his country for letting militant groups cross the border and commit terror attacks like the one in Mumbai in 2008. In an interview with Dawn, Sharif questioned why his country had not been able to complete the trial in the case yet.
Sharif said it was unacceptable that militant organisations were active in Pakistan and that the country had isolated itself internationally.
“Militant organisations are active,” he said in the interview published on Saturday. “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?”
The trial in the Mumbai attack case has been going on in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court for eight years. India has urged Pakistan to complete the trial at the earliest, and said that enough evidence has been shared with Pakistan to prosecute the accused. However, Pakistan has repeatedly asked for 24 Indian witnesses to be presented in court to help finish the trial.
Sharif also said that Pakistan’s version of its commitment to fight terror was not being accepted by other countries. “We have isolated ourselves,” he said in the interview. “Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it.”
Pakistan’s economy could have been grown at 7% annually, but it was struggling to get there, Sharif said. “It’s absolutely unacceptable,” he said, referring to the state of terrorism in Pakistan. “This is exactly what we are struggling for. President [Vladimir] Putin has said it. President Xi [Jinping] has said it.”
Sharif was prime minister until July 2017, when he quit after the Supreme Court disqualified him from the post because of corruption charges against him and his family in the Panama Papers case.