Nawaz Sharif’s party, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), has defended the former prime minister’s remarks on the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, and said the Indian media had “grossly misinterpreted” the statement. Sharif and his party do not need a “certificate from anybody on their commitment and capacity to preserve, protect and promote Pakistan’s national security”, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) said.
In an interview with the Pakistan newspaper Dawn published on Saturday, Sharif had criticised Pakistan for letting militant groups cross the border and commit terror attacks like the one in Mumbai in 2008. He had questioned why his country had not been able to complete the trial in the case yet.
“Unfortunately, a section of Pakistani electronic and 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,” the statement by Sharif’s party on Sunday said, according to Dawn.
Pakistan’s National Security Committee will meet on Monday to discuss the “recent misleading media statement regarding [the] Bombay incident”, said Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor.
Meanwhile, Opposition leader in the Senate, Sherry Rehman, criticised Sharif’s remarks, and questioned the performance of his own party’s government in tackling extremism. “We absolutely cannot allow anyone to compromise Pakistan’s war against terrorism,” she said. Rehman said she hoped that Sharif will retract his statement and issue a clarification.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Babar Awan said Sharif had given the Indian media a reason to celebrate with his comments. Party chief Imran Khan called Sharif the “modern-day Mir Jafar” and accused him of “speaking [Narendra] Modi’s language against Pakistan”.