Nawaz says statement was 'misreported, misinterpreted': PM tells journalists

Nawaz says statement was 'misreported, misinterpreted': PM tells journalists

Pakistan's top military and civilian leaders on Monday rejected criticisms by former premier Nawaz Sharif over the nation's handling of militant groups and the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Meanwhile, Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has issued a statement claiming that his statement has been "grossly misinterpreted" by the Indian media. He had questioned why his country had not been able to complete the trial in the case yet.

What he was referring to is the stalled trial in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

Earlier, Pakistan's major opposition parties, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People's Party (PPP), also lambasted Sharif for his "irresponsible" statement and demanded that he retract it.

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Nawaz's remarks were immediately picked up by the Indian media, which termed the former prime minister's statement as a "confession of Pakistan's role in the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead".

To a question at a press conference here, Ms. Sitharaman said, "It is very serious disclosure".

"He hurt the national interest of Pakistan by violating his oath as an ex-prime minister and should be proceeded against for treason", he said. "We must look into it", he had said.

The NSC meeting was attended by Defence and Foreign Minister Khurram Dastgir, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, National Security Adviser (NSA) Retired Lt General Nasser Khan Janjua, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat, the director generals of Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, and the three services chiefs.

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Unlikely though it may be, will Pakistan's civil society, whatever it is worth, stand up and endorse what Nawaz Sharif finally said in his interview, "These games have gone on for too long". Shehbaz Sharif, the PML-N's president, took to Twitter to note that the party "rejects all assertions, direct or implied" in a subsequent Dawn report.

Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by his country's Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said, "We have isolated ourselves".

On Monday, Sharif stuck to his guns, telling a political rally in the northern town of Buner that a commission should be formed to probe his statement. The former prime minister and his children - who deny all wrong doing - are now facing criminal charges related to property purchases in London. Afghanistan's narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. He said since the attack took place, it was the Indian government which possessed "90 per cent of the evidence and facts" of the incident.

He added that Sharif's candid admission about the presence of "non-state actors" on Pakistani soil and their involvement in cross-border terrorism is nothing new, as he has merely repeated what the rest of the world has been saying for a long time.

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