Nawaz wants commission to probe ‘who laid foundation of terrorism in Pakistan’

An unfazed Nawaz Sharif Tuesday rejected Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership condemning his controversial remarks on the 2008 Mumbai attacks . The deposed Pakistani prime minister, who has made scathing remarks against the army and judiciary following his disqualification on corruption charges last year, said Pakistan was already “isolated” and a commission should be set up to probe “who laid the foundation of terrorism in the country.”

The National Security Committee (NSC) which met yesterday had condemned the “fallacious” statement by Sharif about the Mumbai terror attack and termed it as “incorrect and misleading”.

In an interview last week, Sharif had questioned Pakistan’s policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai as he publicly acknowledged that militant groups are active in the country.

His comments triggered a controversy, prompting the National Security Committee (NSC) – Pakistan’s top civil-military body – to call a high-level meeting.

Presided over by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the meeting was attended by top Cabinet ministers, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat, the three services chiefs, the director generals of the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence.

After the NSC meeting, Prime Minister Abbasi met Sharif and conveyed to him the concerns of the military leadership over his remarks regarding the Mumbai attacks, Pakistani media had reported yesterday.

Talking to reporters at the Accountability Court hearing corruption cases against him and his family, Nawaz, 68, said the NSC statement is “wrong, painful and frightening.”

He reiterated his demand for the formation of a national commission to decide who committed treason and said that it would allow all facts to become clear. “A decision should be made about who is a patriot and who is a traitor,” he added.

“We should find out who laid the foundation of terrorism in the country,” he asserted.

“Pakistan is not becoming isolated, it is already isolated. Tell me which country stands with us, is there any?” he asked.

Later, speaking to the media while leaving the courtroom, Nawaz said the time has come to decide who is a patriot and who is a traitor. He was responding to being termed a traitor by political opponents.

He said further that he is not just a Pakistani citizen as the people elected him prime minister and he knows a lot of things.

Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had fired a broadside at Nawaz for statement about the Mumbai attack, with some going as far as demanding that the PML-N supremo be tried for high treason; that his name be placed on the Exit Control List, and a thorough investigation be undertaken to determine the reasons behind the statement made by three-time prime minister.

The former premier had made the call at a party rally in Buner last night, saying the guilty party, be it him for treason or those levelling allegations against him, should be publicly hanged following the commission’s verdict.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Abbasi today defended Sharif’s remarks in the National Assembly, saying that the former prime minister’s comments were “misreported” and “misinterpreted”.