26/11: After hinting at Pakistan's involvement, Nawaz Sharif blames media
After facing flak from several quarters for his recent comments on the Mumbai attacks, former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif has backtracked, claiming media in both countries had "grossly misinterpreted" his remarks. In an interview to a local channel, Sharif had hinted at Pakistan's involvement in the attacks, and criticized the delay in trials. While India called it a validation, Pakistan rushed to limit impact.
What had Sharif said?
In an interview to Dawn on Friday, Sharif had criticized the delay in the 26/11 trials. "Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?" he had asked. He had also alleged Pakistan is isolating itself. "Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative isn't being accepted. Afghanistan's narrative is, but ours isn't."
Sharif's remarks prove India's stand has been right: Sitharaman
Considering Pakistan has consistently denied home-based agencies were involved in it, Sharif's remarks were a "very serious disclosure," Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. "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," she said. "(Sharif's remarks) only prove that India's stand has been right."
Pakistan rises up in protest against Sharif
In Pakistan, it unleashed a flurry of corrective actions. Officials said the army is holding a high-level meeting today to discuss the "recent misleading media statement" from Sharif. Opposition leader Imran Khan accused him of "speaking Modi's language to protect his ill-gotten Rs. 300bn." Leaders of his own ruling PML-N slammed Sharif. In Chakwal, a local approached police to file a criminal case against him.
Imran Khan slams Sharif on Twitter
'Sharif doesn't need anyone's certificate of patriotism'
Issuing a statement, Sharif's spokesperson said that his remarks had been "grossly misinterpreted by the Indian media...(and) a section of Pakistani electronic and social media," which has "lent credence to the malicious propaganda of Indian media." Sharif doesn't need anyone's certificate of patriotism, it added. "After all, it was Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most difficult decision...by making the country a nuclear power."
166 people died in the three-day siege 8 years ago
On November 26, 2011, 10 terrorists entered Mumbai with backpacks, grenades and automatic weapons, in what was the beginning of three days of horror. In the next few days, they launched 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks at various locations, including the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Taj Palace & Tower, and Leopold Café. 166 people, including 15 policemen, died. Three hundred were injured.