Opposition leader Mehmoodur Rashid of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the Punjab Assembly on Tuesday asked for the resignation of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for being part of the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting but also backing Nawaz Sharif.
On Monday, PM Abbasi chaired a meeting of the NSC which included top army and government officials and issued a statement rejecting Nawaz’s remarks and condemning them.
However, hours after the NSC statement, PM Abbasi said that the NSC did not condemn Nawaz, but the incorrect reporting of the former prime minister’s interview. “The participants observed that it was very unfortunate that the opinion arising out of either misconceptions or grievances was being presented in disregard of concrete facts and realities,” a press statement issued after the meeting had said. “The participants unanimously rejected the allegations and condemned the fallacious assertions.”
The PTI on Monday also tabled a resolution against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif following his earlier remarks on the Mumbai attacks.
Spokesperson for the K-P government, Shah Farman, submitted a resolution in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly condeming Nawaz’s statement. However, PTI lacks the strength in the provincial legislature to pass the resolution and may rely on other parties for support.
“I urge everyone to condemn and reject Nawaz’s interview to an English daily as it is an act of treason against the state,” the resolution read.
The resolution further requested a ban on Nawaz’s print and digital interviews and speeches as the country’s respect and image is negatively impacted.
In a rare moment of unity, lawmakers from different parties in the Sindh Assembly moved resolutions on Monday condemning Nawaz’s interview regarding the Mumbai attack and asked him to tender an apology.
Some MPAs even demanded that a treason case be registered against the PML-N Quaid and called him a traitor. Lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), which is a coalition partner of the PML-N government, the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) all moved resolutions that were later clubbed together and unanimously adopted.
“He should be punished for high treason,” said lawmakers on the floor of the assembly, while others shouted, “His name must be put on the ECL”. It was decided with the consent of the speaker that one MPA from the treasury and opposition will read the resolution.
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.