“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.”
LAHORE (PTI) — For the first time, Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has publicly acknowledged that militant organisations are active in the country and questioned the policy to allow “non-state actors” to cross the border and “kill” people in Mumbai, a media report said.
Mr. Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said Pakistan had isolated itself.
“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, Mr. Sharif 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, Mr. Sharif said: ”Militant organisations are active in Pakistan.”
‘Why can’t we complete the trial?’
He said, “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?”
The Mumbai attacks-related trials are stalled in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.
He said, ”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.”
United States President Donald Trump had accused Pakistan of giving nothing to the U.S. but “lies and deceit” and providing “safe haven” to terrorists.
Mr. 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, the apex court also disqualified Mr. Sharif as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
‘There can only be one government’
Citing the military and judiciary establishment, Mr. Sharif further said, ”You can’t run a country if you have two or three parallel governments. This has to stop. There can only be one government – the constitutional one.”
The relations between the military and the Sharif government were at its lowest ebb in October 2016 when the latter told the former to act against home-grown militant groups or face international isolation.
The Mumbai attack case has entered into the 10th 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.
Some 166 people were killed in the attack carried out by 10 LeT men. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught and hanged after handed down death sentence.