New Delhi: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday dubbed as a ‘serious disclosure’ Pakistan’s ousted PM Nawaz Sharif publicly acknowledging that terrorist organisations were active in his country. For the first time, Sharif also questioned Pakistan’s policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai, according to a media report.
Sitharaman also said that it proved India’s position that the handlers of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack were in Pakistan. “Well, it is very serious disclosure. India’s position has been that the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack operated from Pakistan. We strongly believe that the handlers of the attack were in Pakistan. It (Sharif’s remarks) only proves that India’s stand has been right all the way,” she said at a press conference, in response to a query.
To a question on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s call for a unilateral ceasefire in the state during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra, Sitharaman said, “I think it is important to handle J&K affairs with a great deal of sensitivity. The Indian Army will have to make sure that India is a safe country. It has to handle firmly any terrorism which threatens peace and harmony of J&K and the rest of India also,” PTI reported.
On May 12, 2918, Sharif had publicly acknowledged that terrorist organisations were active in Pakistan and questioned the policy to allow the “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai, as per a media report.
“We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan’s narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,” he had told Dawn.
Without naming Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar’s militant organisations – Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad – operating in the country with impunity, Sharif had said, “Militant organisations are active in Pakistan. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill over 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial.”
He was further quoted as saying, “It’s absolutely unacceptable (to allow non-state actors to cross the border and commit terrorism there). President (Vladimir) Putin has said it. President Xi (Jinping) has said it.”
Sharif, 68, was disqualified by the Supreme Court for not being “honest and righteous” as he failed to declare in 2013 a salary he got from the company of his son in the UAE. In February 2018, the apex court also disqualified Sharif as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The Mumbai attack case has entered into the tenth year but none of its suspects in Pakistan has been punished yet, showing that the case had never been in the priority list of the country that appears to be keen to put it under the carpet.
A number of Pakistani witnesses both official and private testified and provided evidence against the seven accused, but the Pakistani authorities have been insisting on sending Indian witnesses for reaching a verdict in the case.
166 people were killed in the terror attack carried out by ten LeT men. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged after being given the death sentence.