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Sharif defends remarks over Mumbai attack

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan's Sharif today defended his recent remarks about the 2008 terror attack, saying he will speak the truth no matter what the consequences are.

Sharif, for the first time, publicly acknowledged in an interview that militant organisations are active in and questioned the policy to allow the "non-state actors" to cross the border and "kill" people in

Sharif's comments have stirred a controversy in Pakistan, prompting the to call a high-level meeting to reject the statement.

Sharif's response today on the controversy is contradictory to the stance taken by his party, the Muslim League-Nawaz, whose said yesterday that the party "rejects all claims made in the report, be they direct or indirect", Dawn newspaper reported.

"What did I say that was wrong in the interview?" 68-year-old Sharif asked while talking to reporters outside an accountability court in Islamabad, where he is facing corruption charges.

After the publication of Sharif's interview on Saturday, his party issued a clarification, saying that the Indian media had "grossly misinterpreted" his remarks.

Sharif today dispelled the notion that the comments were falsely attributed to him, saying that he will speak the truth come what may.

"Former Pervez Musharraf, former and former (retd) had already confirmed [what I said]," he added.

regretted that those who ask questions are being termed traitors in the media.

"Despite our 50,000 sacrifices [of lives], why is the world not paying heed to our narrative? And the person who is asking this question has been labelled a traitor."

He also called out those that had criticised his words. "I am being called a traitor on the media they [the media] are being made to call me a traitor."

"Are those who tore apart the country and the Constitution patriots? Are those who pulled out judges from their offices patriots?"

"Will speak the truth no matter what the consequences are," he said.

When a pointed to Sharif's acknowledgment of the presence of "non-state actors" in the country, his daughter Maryam, who was accompanying him, replied: "So then who was Zarb-i-Azb [military operation] conducted against?"

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was a joint military offensive conducted by the Armed Forces against various militant group in 2014.

According to Dawn newspaper, differences within the ruling party surfaced following the issuance of contradictory statements by the Sharif brothers on the issue.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 14 2018. 14:25 IST