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Sharif's disclosure vindicates India's stand: Sitharaman

15 May 2018

Last week, while speaking to Dawn, Sharif admitted that terrorist organisations were thriving in Pakistan and "non-state actors" were responsible for the series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 which claimed over 160 lives.

"After all, it was (the then) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most important and most hard decision on national security in Pakistan's history by making the country a nuclear power in May 1998", the spokesman said while referring to the nuclear tests conducted by Pakistan immediately after India conducted nuclear test in Pokhran.

His statement was in contrast to the response by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), whose president Shahbaz Sharif earlier said that his brother's comments "were "grossly misinterpreted". Explain it to me. "Why can't we complete the trial?" he said in an interview.

Will his latest remarks worsen the tussle even further between the ruling PML-N and the army?

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He said, "There was no bigger evidence of the Indian government's lack of interest in taking the case to its end than its refusal to allow FIA to question the only living proof of the attacks: Ajmal Kasab".

He elaborated and said media in India took a "line or two" from the interview and misrepresented it out of context. We strongly believe that the handlers were in Pakistan.

"It was very unfortunate that the opinion arising out of either misconceptions or grievances was being presented in disregard of concrete facts and realities", said a statement released by Abbasi's office after the meeting.

Later, Abbasi expressed full support for Sharif and said the former prime minister did not say what was reported in the media about the Mumbai attack. India has maintained that the deadly attack in Mumbai was masterminded by Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed-a man who is allowed a free run in Pakistan.

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Sharif's criticism of the military has caused divisions within his party, analysts say, with some members unhappy about his confrontational approach.

"The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions", it added. "It (Sharif's remarks) only proves that India's stand has been right all the way", she added.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired the meeting at Prime Minister's House attended by all three services chiefs, including Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar, as well as other senior civil and military officials. He indicated that his country should look into why its narrative that it had been fighting terrorism had not been accepted by the global community "despite sacrifices". "It understands the language of gun only and we will fight till India doesn't vacate Kashmir", Zargar said.

Expressing fears about the security of Sharif following his interview, Nusrat demanded the global community to exert pressure on authorities in Pakistan to take every possible precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the former Pakistani prime minister.

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Sharif's disclosure vindicates India's stand: Sitharaman