ISLAMABAD: Facing a volley of criticism for his statements in an English daily, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that he will continue to speak the truth and he considers it as his national and moral duty to do so.
The former premier also added that he will speak the truth irrespective of what he has to bear.
Talking to journalists outside the accountability court hearing corruption references against the Sharif family, the PML-N Quaid further said that former interior minister Rehman Malik, Lt Gen (retd) Mehmood Durrani and former spy chief Lt Gen (retd) Ahmad Shuja Pasha had also made similar statements.
Expressing his disappointment over being labelled as a traitor, Nawaz alluded to former president Pervez Musharraf and asked whether those who expelled the judges or supported the bloodshed of May 12 are patriots?
“Are the violators of the Constitution patriotic? Are those who expelled the judges patriotic? Or those who supported the bloodshed of May 12?”
Nawaz also added that he has called Kulbhushan Jadhav a spy and had only questioned why the Mumbai attack trial could not be completed.
Nawaz on May 12, during an interview with a local daily, had stated that “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?”
“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 added.
His remarks were immediately picked up by Indian media, which termed the former prime minister’s statement as a confession of Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead.
Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), launched a broadside against Sharif, calling him a security threat.
Even PML-N stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the former interior minister, did not endorse Sharif’s statement. He held India responsible for the delay in the trial of the Mumbai attack suspects.