Ex-Pakistani PM Zeroes in on Pakistan's Civil-Military Divide in Interview

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif describes National Security Committee statement as'regrettable painful

He stresses "After all, it was Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who, resisting all pressures, took the most important and most hard decision on national security in Pakistan's history by making the country a nuclear power in May 1998".

The controversy created by the remarks of former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the Mumbai terror attacks continued, after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Monday that they were quoted out of context, and blamed the Indian media for twisting them. Sharif's criticism of the military has caused divisions within his party, analysts say, with some members unhappy about his confrontational approach.

The prime minister had termed the NAB's latest action "pre-poll rigging", saying the allegations of money laundering against Mr Sharif were being levelled at a time when general elections were just two months away. Ten gunmen spent three days spraying bullets and throwing grenades around landmarks.

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He blamed India for refusing to cooperate during the investigation of the case. Pakistan admitted the attacks were planned on its soil but denied any official involvement, and did not confirm the gunmen had set sail from Karachi. It is widely believed that the Army has been using the judiciary and the clergy to weaken the hold of the civilian governments and Sharif's ouster was part of a larger plan to undermine civilian authority.

While the World Bank promptly responded to the NAB move and stated "the report does not include any mention of money laundering nor does it name any individuals", the State Bank of Pakistan said the estimates showed in the WB report were based on "assumptions" which did not reflect the reality.

Sharif, asked about his ouster, brought up issues of security and foreign policy - which the military controls. Explain it to me. Why can't we complete the trial."I mean raised question on the timing of the revelation, and said Sharif was in power for four years and did not speak out a word about the Mumbai attacks".

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"We have isolated ourselves". Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted.

"Modi, who goes uninvited to have "dawats" at the house of same Nawaz Sharif, needs to answer, that in light of this categorical admission by former Pakistani Prime Minister".

The National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice has summoned the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, today to give an explanation over the initiating an inquiry against former premier Nawaz Sharif for allegedly laundering billions of dollars to India.

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