The former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accepted Pakistan’s role in the heinous and barbaric 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. While conversing with a leading Pakistani English daily, Dawn, Sharif commented upon the role of “non-state” actors in Pakistan and how they were responsible for the series of co-ordinated attack which occurred on 26-November, 2008 in Mumbai claiming over 160 lives.
Sharif cautiously avoided mentioning any names. The mastermind behind Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Saeed, or Massod Azhar and their terror outfits – Jammat-ud-dawah, Jaish-e-Mohammed respectively, which are operating from Pakistan with impunity were not mentioned by Sharif as he stated –
“Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?”
Sharif also reflected upon the problem of interference from the Army establishment in the matters of the elected government and how the Army and judiciary establishment in Pakistan breaches the fundamental principle of separation of power. Sharif furthered –
“You can’t run a country if you have two or three parallel governments. This has to stop. There can only be one government – the constitutional one.”
Sharif was ousted from power by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for his alleged involvement in Panama papers scandal. The apex court also barred him for life from holding public office. Nawaz Sharif who was disqualified by the apex court in February as the head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) also spoke about the stalled trial of Mumbai attacks at the Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court,
“Why can’t we complete the trial? It’s absolutely unacceptable. This is exactly what we are struggling for. President Putin has said it. President Xi has said it,” – the former Prime minister stated.
The 26/11 trail entered its 10th year but no progress has been made with regard to bringing those responsible to justice. Pakistani witnesses, both official and private testified and provided evidence against the seven accused but the Pakistani establishment has been hell-bent on hearing from Indian witnesses before reaching a verdict which shows the underlying reluctance of the Pakistani state to bring the perpetrators to justice and their wish to put this case under the carpet for reasons well known.
Sharif’s admission has put the propagators of the RSS-conspiracy theory behind the 26/11 attacks, in a fix. These propagators who put political expediency before National security interest will have a lot to answer for in the coming days. This admission by Sharif is sure to cause a lot of ripples in the sub-continent and especially among the polity of India who was at the helm of affairs in 2008. The question as to why did ministers from the then incumbent government supported the RSS-conspiracy plot in 26/11 remains unanswered.