ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired a session of the National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss former premier Nawaz Sharif’s recent “misleading media statement” on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, official said.
The top brass of military leadership, including Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar attended the meeting, held at the PM House.
Moreover, the chiefs of the navy and air force also attended the meeting, as did directors general of military operations and military intelligence.
On the other hand, Defence Minister and acting foreign minister Khurram Dastgir was also a part of the meeting along with other top civil officials of the government.
The meeting was called over remarks made by Nawaz regarding the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
Official said the participants were briefed on Pakistan’s investigations and cooperation following the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
Nawaz, in a recent interview to 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.
Following the backlash on international and local media, army spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had announced that they had “suggested” that the NSC meeting be called to clarify the country’s stance on the statement.
Nawaz’s statement misinterpreted by media: PML-N
The PML-N issued a clarification stating that Nawaz’s remarks were “grossly misinterpreted by Indian media”.
“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,” a party spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that Nawaz’s comments about Shehbaz Sharif’s role in the party’s election campaign are also being misinterpreted.
“Mian Shehbaz Sharif is the elected President of PML-N and, in this capacity, he is already at the forefront of the election campaign, taking the PML-N message to every nook and corner of the country,” the statement read.
Shehbaz, in a series of tweets posted later in the day, said the PML-N “rejects all assertions, direct or implied” in the media reports. “We strongly believe that interests of Pakistan [are] supreme to all personal & political interests,” he added.
India used Mumbai attacks to malign Pakistan: Nisar
Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, weighing on the recent wave of discussion on the 2008 Mumbai attacks, remarked earlier today that the incident was used by India to malign Pakistan.
“Pakistan was heavily criticised over the Mumbai attacks,” he shared in a statement while referring to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks on the Mumbai attacks.
“India used the Mumbai attacks for its own despicable plans,” said Nisar, who has swayed away from Nawaz since his ouster last year.