PML-N supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif met with Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Hamdullah Mohib in London, stirring a storm and drawing flak from ministers belonging to the ruling PTI.
However, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Sharif’s daughter, maintained that friendly ties with neighbouring countries reflected her father’s “ideology”.
Several federal ministers on Saturday criticised the meeting, pictures of which were shared by Afghanistan National Security Council's Twitter account stating that ‘matters of mutual interest’ were discussed between the two.
Also present in the meeting was Afghan State Minister for Peace Sayed Sadat Naderi.
Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said this was why “sending Nawaz Sharif abroad was dangerous because such people become accomplices in international conspiracies”.
He added that Sharif’s meeting with Mohib, Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) biggest ally in Afghanistan, was an example of such an action.
“[Narendra] Modi, Mohib or Amrullah Saleh [Afghanistan vice president]; every enemy of Pakistan is a close friend of Nawaz Sharif.”
Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari criticised Sharif for "shameless self-interest" to protect his looted wealth and said the meeting came after the Afghan NSA had called Pakistan a "brothel".
The minister added that the only common interest of RAW was to attack Pakistan.
Commenting on the meeting, Federal Science and Technology Minister Shibli Faraz said it was "nothing new".
He added that Sharif had always "kept the company of Pakistan's enemies", whether they were Jindal or Modi, and now the Afghan NSA who called Pakistan a “brothel”.
“It is a shame that a former premier is insensitive to national self-respect.”
Federal Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi said it was appalling to see “fugitive” Sharif meeting with Mohib.
“Nawaz Sharif has violated our stated policy of having no official contact with this despicable fool,” Zaidi added.
Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir Chairperson Shehryar Khan Afridi said Sharif’s meeting with the Afghan NSA proved his connections with Pakistan's enemies.
“Again proved that Nawaz Sharif is a tool to be used against Pakistani interests. His statements on crucial issues already used by India at global forums,” Afridi added.
However, Maryam defended her father by tweeting that the country’s peaceful existence with its neighbours “is the very foundation of Nawaz Sharif’s ideology for which he has worked tirelessly”.
“It is the very essence of diplomacy to talk to everyone, listen to their point of view and convey one’s own message across: something this government doesn’t comprehend and hence is a complete failure on the international front,” she added.
Responding to Maryam on Twitter, Minister Fawad posed the question as to “why all haters of Pakistan, from Ajit Doval to Mohib, ended up in your palatial London palace?"
Later while addressing a news conference along with Adviser to PM on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, Fawad demanded that Sharif must share the details of his meeting with the Afghan NSA with the nation.
“The PML-N must share the audio transcript of the meeting,” he added.
The minister claimed that after meeting Sharif, the Afghan NSA had also met with Indian secret agency personnel.
Fawad questioned whether or not the PML-N leader, who had remained the prime minister of the country thrice, should hold meetings with anti-Pakistan foreign officials.
The minister also asked if Sharif had taken his party into confidence before the meeting and informed its central executive committee.
He claimed that PM Imran neither held secret meetings with anyone, nor gave statements against national institutions.
Fawad said Mohib had off and on expressed his hatred and used derogatory language against Pakistan.
“Pakistan had disconnected all its contacts with the Afghan NSA’s office and made it clear to the Afghan leadership that there would be no talk with him [Mohib],” he added.
The minister said the families of Afghan officials Hamdullah Mohib and Amrullah Saleh were living abroad and they had nothing on the stake as they were on some special mission.
Last month, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had lashed out at Mohib for his remarks against Pakistan and called on him to "reflect and correct" his behaviour.
The Afghan NSA, during a visit to Nangarhar province in May, called Pakistan a "brothel house", according to international reports.
With input from APP
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