Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has virtually admitted the terrorists who carried out the 26/11 attacks came from Pakistan and said he fears that such strikes may happen again.
“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?” said Sharif in an interview to Dawn newspaper published on Saturday. His statement is seen as a reference to the trial against Pakistani suspects of the attack in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable (to allow non-state actors to cross the border and commit terrorism). President (Vladimir) Putin has said it. President Xi (Jinping) has said it.”
Sharif was prime minister when 10 men belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group landed on the Mumbai shoreline in a dinghy on November 26, 2008, before splitting into four groups and embarking on a rampage in which 166 people were killed.
India has said Islamabad is failing to act against those behind the raids, including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10 million US bounty on his head. Pakistan admits the attacks were planned on its soil, but denies official involvement.
Pakistan’s interior ministry in April 2018 removed the chief prosecutor from the terror attack case for “not taking the government line”.
Sharif hinted Pakistan has lost international support because of its security policy. “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 said.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court in February ordered that Sharif be removed as head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), six months after the court disqualified him as the country’s leader over unreported income.
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