ISLAMABAD - The National Security Committee meeting has been called for today (Monday) to take up the ‘controversial’ statement given by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif about Mumbai attacks, raising questions about its slow-paced trial.

Sources said that the NSC meeting had been called on the request of the army to discuss Sharif’s “misleading comments” about Mumbai attacks and the snail-paced trial of the case in Pakistan.

Sharif’s comments triggered outburst both in India and Pakistan as Indian media portrayed it as an admission of Pakistan’s hand in the attack resulting in the killing of some 166 people, while back home, all mainstream leaders not only condemned it but termed it “misleading and an attempt to damage the country’s image through a false propaganda”.

Meanwhile, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in a strong rebuttal to all what he said about Mumbai terror attack as nonfactual because it was India’s casual and non-cooperative attitude and not Pakistan resulting in the delay in the conclusion of the trial.

Nisar said that as being the interior minister he was closely associated with the case and said that the Indian government’s noncommittal and indifferent attitude was there from the very beginning as at every stage of the investigation, Pakistan was not facilitated. Even the Pakistani team was not allowed to interrogate the only surviving culprit arrested in Mumbai attack and was executed in haste, hence eliminating the only surviving culprit of the incident as the rest of the terrorists were killed during the operation by law enforcement agencies, he said.

Nawaz Sharif in an interview with a national daily had raised a question about the apparent delay in the conclusion of Mumbai terror attack trial pending with an anti-terrorist court in Pakistan.

“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?” Sharif said while talking to a national daily, minutes before addressing a public rally in Multan.

Criticizing the country’s foreign policy, Sharif had added: “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.”

Nisar said that India did not want to see the trial concluded and just wanted to use it for political purpose and to malign Pakistan at the international level.

He said that despite repeated requested, the Pakistani investigation team was not allowed to question Ajmal Kasab who was the only surviving terrorist in Mumbai attack and later he was executed through expeditiously conducted trial.

“I say with full responsibility that the delay and slow pace of the Mumbai attacks-related case in Pakistan was due to non-cooperation and stubbornness of India,” he said emphatically.

Nisar, being the interior minister at that time and was directly linked to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) investigation into the matter, said that since the crime scene was Mumbai it was the Indian government which possessed “90 percent of the evidence and facts” of the incident.

Despite repeated efforts, India refused to share those facts and evidence with the FIA and the investigation committee formed by Pakistani courts, he claimed.

According to Nisar, there was no bigger evidence of the Indian government’s lack of interest in taking the case to its logical conclusion than its refusal to allow the FIA to interrogate the only surviving attacker Ajmal Kasab.

 “In a country, where cases concerning capital punishment face years of delays, the only proof in a very important case was sent to the gallows in extreme haste to take him away from the public eye and close the door before facts became public.”

Kasab was hanged in such haste, Nisar said, so that the Mumbai attacks could be used as a tool for “Pakistan bashing” across the world on a political basis.

Sensing the gravity of the situation following the media outburst on the issue implying the tacit involvement of Pakistan in Mumbai attacks in the light of all what Sharif had uttered, the civil and military leadership of the country decided to call the NSC meeting to take up the issue.

Director General Inter-Services Relations Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor through a tweet said; “NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister [Shahid Khaqan Abbasi] to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning.”

Sources in the ruling PML-N confirmed that the NSC meeting was called keeping in view the gravity of the situation and the distorted play up of it in the Indian media. The NSC meeting would take stock of the situation and would come up with factual and a detailed reply on it.



Crucial NSC meeting called for today