Disqualified P.M. Nawaz Sharif’s Indian Connections Proved
By Sajjad Shaukat
Speaking regarding the Mumbai terror attack of November 26, 2008, in an exclusive interview, published in the daily Dawn on May 12, this year, Pakistan’s disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unrealistically said: “Militant organisations are active [In Pakistan]…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?…It’s absolutely unacceptable. This is exactly what we are struggling for.”
Soon after the publication of Nawaz’s interview, the Indian media appreciated his remarks, terming it an admission on part of the deposed prime minister that non-state actors from Pakistan were involved in the Mumbai attacks.
The Pakistan Muslim League (N) supreme leader’s statement has triggered a storm of criticism from people of all social strata, especially leaders of the political parties, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehree-i-Insaf (PTI), who slammed the statement of the ex-Prime Minister Nawaz, taking it as part of the anti-Pakistan and Pro-Indian activities.
In his tweet on May, 13, 2018, PTI chairperson Imran Khan called the PML-N leader “a modern day Mir Jafar” and assailed him for speaking “PM Narendra Modi’s language” to protect his wealth stashed in his son’s offshore companies. He stated: “Today Nawaz Sharif stands exposed before the nation…To try and protect his wrongdoings he not only adamant on destroying government institutions like the Supreme Court, Pakistan Army and National Accountability Bureau (NAB), but has also come down to putting the future of Pakistan at stake.”
Next day, addressing a press conference Imran Khan said former premier Nawaz Sharif is appealing to “international establishment” to save himself from going to jail. He remarked: “All Nawaz had to do was prove where his money coming from. He couldn’t so he started hurling attacks at institutions…Nawaz should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL) as he might try to make a deal to escape the country…Nawaz violated his oath as the prime minister, and should be proceeded against under Article 6 of the Constitution…He hurt the national interests of Pakistan…investigation should be carried out in Nawaz’s sons’ businesses in India…Shehbaz Sharif (His brother and chief minister of Punjab) and Shahid Khaqan (Prime Minister of the PML-N) should resign…Nawaz’s statements helped India considerably.”
PTI Vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked why Sharif raised the issue when Pakistan is surrounded by conspiracies…the ousted prime minister tried to please anti-Pakistan forces… Every Pakistani feels hurt by Nawaz Sharif’s statement. It is indeed an open pro-Indian declaration…Mumbai attack was India’s self made drama. It was not Islamabad but New Delhi which tactfully tried to delay the trial of Mumbai attack incident in Pakistani court and failed to provide any solid proof about Pakistan’s involvement in the attack.”
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Senior Leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi stated: “Nawaz has once again committed treason against Pakistan in order to shroud his corruption…the Sharif brothers and their associates are busy in conspiring against the country, the army and the judiciary.”
President of Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed remarked that the statements of Nawaz Sharif would have disappointed the Muslims in Kashmir and India.
Even a leader of his own party Chaudhry Nisar categorically challenged the position, taken by Sharif regarding the Mumbai attacks-related trial which had been stalled in Rawalpindi’s anti-terrorism court. Nisar held the Indian side responsible for not cooperating in the trial of the accused involved in the Mumbai.
In its crucial meeting held on April 14, 2018, the National Security Committee (NSC), the country’s top civil-military body unanimously rejected the controversial statement of the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif about alleged Pakistan’s role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, terming it “incorrect and misleading”.
Regarding the simultaneous terror attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, without any investigation, Indian high officials and media had started blaming Pakistan. In this respect, Indian top officials and TV channels had remarked that Indian Mujahideen and the banned Lashkar-e-Tayba (LeT) based in Pakistan, Hafiz Muhammad and country’s primary intelligence agency ISI were behind the Mumbai terror attacks.
With the assistance of Indian intelligence agency RAW, Indian investigators fabricated a false narrative that 10 terrorists who executed Mumbai carnage came in a boat from Karachi and were in contact with the members of the banned Lashker-e-Taiba.
In fact, Mumbai attack was just another false flag operation of Indian establishment to gain sympathies of world community and defame Pakistan in the comity of nations. The whole drama was staged to accuse Pakistan and its intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
But, Indian orchestrated drama was exposed, when in July, 2013, the Indian former home ministry and ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror attacks in Mumbai in November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.
As regards the Mumbai terror attacks, the book, “The Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence” by Elias Davidsson, published in 2008, described that the attacks in Mumbai in November 2008-designated as 26/11-left 162 people dead in a traumatic event that some people described as India’s 9/11. Extensive media coverage has created the impression that all the relevant facts on this audacious operation have been reported. Unfortunately, this impression is false. This book represents a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the official narrative of 26/11, as reflected in court documents and the news media. It presents testimonies of dozens of important witnesses, whom Indian courts ignored because they shed a radically different light on the events. The book presents a detailed analysis of the benefits accruing to powerful constituencies in India and the US from the mass-murder. The results of this evaluation are shattering for they expose a tacit consensus by leading news media, the political class, the police and the judicial system, to cover up the true facts on 26/11 and thereby shield the real criminals.
Davidsson’s book elaborates that elucidation of a terrorist offense suffers from the fact that governments clean up only as much as it benefits them politically. Such an approach also holds true for the Mumbai attacks. The impression given by the Indian government that all facts were on the table, is, according to Davidsson, false. As with the “9/11 Commission Report”, which pretends to present the real events and the backgrounds, the same holds true for the processing of this heinous crime of 26/11, 2008. In both cases, statements of witnesses, which didn’t support the official narrative were glossed over or brushed aside.
The book is about “the betrayal of the Indian nation by a corrupt, greedy and ruthless elite for whom the lives of ordinary Indians are expendable when power and profit are at stake,” as writes the author. From day one, a particular part of the official account was questioned, namely, the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three senior police officials and their assistants. Many Indians voiced their suspicion that the authorities were covering-up facts and called for an independent and impartial investigation of the events.
The author presents three definite conclusions; firstly, India’s major institutions are suppressing the truth on 26/11; secondly, India’s judiciary has failed its duty to seek truth and render justice; thirdly, Business, political and military circles profited from 26/11.
Furthermore, entities in the U. S. and Israel also gained from the attack. The author could not find any benefits for the Pakistani government, military or businesses. The main profiteer seems the Hindu nationalist constituencies by the “elimination” of Hemant Karkare, “who was on the verge of exposing Hindutva terrorist networks.”
Davidsson calls on the Indian Civil society to ask for the establishment of a National Truth Commission on 26/11 mandated to establish the facts on the attacks of 26 November 2008. The Civil society itself should demand the creation of an International Commission of Inquiry on the previous terrorist attacks under the authority of Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, including those committed in the U. S. on 11 September 2001.
Now, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is changing the statement of the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by saying that it was misinterpreted by the media, while, the latter remains stick to his statement regarding Mumbai attacks. Surprisingly, he has also rejected the statement of the National Security Committee which was presided over by Khaqan Abbasi-the prime minister from his own party.
It is notable that since July 28, 2017 when five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan announced its verdict in connection with the Panama Papers case and disqualified the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in relation to the charges of ‘corruption’, the deposed prime minister and head of the Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), his daughter Maryam Nawaz, some ministers and leaders of his party are, continuously, targeting the key institutions of Pakistan. They are openly criticizing the judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, while without naming Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), they are, indirectly, censuring these security agencies.
While, leaders of the mainstream political parties such as Pakistan PTI, PPP, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Jamaat-e-Islami have appreciated the verdict of the apex court and progress of the NAB in relation to the references of ‘corruption’ regarding Sharif family.
Bur, addressing public processions at various towns and cities of Pakistan, the disqualified Prime Minister Sharif and his daughter Maryam have left no turned in criticizing the Supreme Court, NAB and other key institutions of the country. They repeatedly targeted the key institutions of Pakistan by accusing them of a conspiracy against his family and government. They have been misguiding the people and are provoking them against the Supreme Court and Pakistan Army.
In fact, the major aim of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz is to divert the attention from corruption cases which are being investigated by NAB against them, including Nawaz Sharif’s two sons, Hussain and Hasan and husband Maryam Nawaz-MNA Capt (r) Safdar and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case.
Taking note of the policy of confrontation with the apex court and Army, many leaders (MNAs and MPAs) of his own party have abandoned the PML-N.
It is mentionable that in the recent past, in his various press releases and press conferences, the Director General of the Inter Services Publication Directorate (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor said: “We have a role to play constitutionally, and we did. We obeyed whatever the Supreme Court had ordered us to do. Whoever’s domain anything falls in, they will solve it…The top court had appointed two members from the ISI and Military Intelligence to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that investigated the Sharifs, which was questioned widely by critics…Whatever order the army receives within the law and the Constitution, we are required to follow it…In that process, there was nothing that the army produced or gave.”
Replying to a question, he dismissed the possibility of a martial law as a result of the friction between army and civilian authorities, saying “it should not even be talked about…We are busy in doing our duty as stated in the Constitution.”
Earlier, referring to the meeting of corps commanders held at the GHQ in Rawalpindi on August 7, 2017, ISPR DG stated that Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa has said that Pakistan Army will uphold “supremacy of Constitution and rule of law.”
It is regrettable that while targeting the Supreme Court, Army and ISI (Indirectly), the disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and some leaders of the PML-N have forgotten apex court’s various decisions of the past, which went in their favour. Such a flawed policy is being manipulated by the foreign enemies of Pakistan, who are already determined to destabilize the country, as Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic Word.
At present, cashing on the Nawaz Sharif’s interview about Mumbai terror assaults, Indian media, however, has again gone into a frenzied campaign to malign Pakistan so that its government could launch a fresh strive to mop up world support against Islamabad.
While showing pro-Indian approach, the ex-Prime Minister Sharif has cross the red line, as his self-fabricated statement about the Mumbai terror attack displayed.
It is noteworthy that on April 26, 2017, an unannounced meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a visiting Indian business tycoon at the hill resort town of Murree surprised the opposition parties and the media. Sajjan Jindal, who is known for being close to Prime Minister Modi, also has a friendly relationship with Nawaz Sharif.
Informed sources had pointed out that it is not possible for Jindal to visit Pakistan without prior knowledge of the country’s civilian and military intelligence services.
Many opposition politicians were angry over the government’s decision to keep Jindal’s visit as well the PM’s secret meeting with him.
In this regard, a resolution, submitted by Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, expressed grave concern over Prime Minister Sharif’s “secret meeting” with Jindal, the Indian steel magnate. The meeting was mentioned by a number of Pakistan’s TV anchors that there was no official word until the prime minister’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, tweeted confirmation of his visit by stating, “Mr Jindal is an old friend of the prime minister.”
Even, Foreign Office was unaware of the arrival of Indian delegation in Pakistan.
Nevertheless, the resolution, submitted by Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, said that a three-member delegation, led by Sajjan Jindal, was taken to Murree under official protocol. It stated that the timing of the meeting was cause for concern, especially in the wake of the extreme atrocities being committed against unarmed Kashmiris by occupying Indian troops; the death sentence awarded to Kulbhushan Jadhav by a military tribunal and Indian forces’ unprovoked firing at the Line of Control.
Rasheed said in the resolution. Has Sajjan Jindal come to Pakistan to rescue Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently embroiled in crisis, the opposition leader asked? The resolution demanded that the nation be informed about the aims and objectives of the Indian delegation’s meeting with the P.M.
Notably, Sajjan Jindal heads the JSW Group, which specialises in steel, energy and infrastructure projects. His younger brother, former Congress party lawmaker Naveen Jindal, is chairman of the umbrella Jindal Group.
Jindal’s relationship with the Sharifs is no secret: he was an honoured guest at the wedding of the prime minister’s granddaughter in December 2015, the same occasion where Indian Prime Minister Modi was also a guest.
In her book, This Unquiet Land, Indian journalist Barkha Dutt describes Mr Jindal as “the unexpected conduit [between PMs Sharif and Modi] with movie-star looks…When Sharif was in Delhi, Jindal hosted a tea party for the Pakistani premier right after his meeting with Modi. It attracted little attention in the Indian media but in Pakistan, Sharif drew flak for finding time for Jindal and not for Kashmiri separatists [Freedom Fighters]”.
It is of particular attention that on February 5, 2018 the nation was observing Kashmir Solidarity Day. While the leaders of all the mainstream political parties had condemned the Indian perennial state terrorism in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, with a pledge to seek a solution to Kashmir dispute according to UN resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. But, while addressing a public gathering in Muzaffarabad on the same day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s President Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were crying about the disqualification of the prime minister. They did no criticize the brutal tactics of the Indian security forces, which have continued unabated on the innocent Kashmiris.
It is worth-mentioning that the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif participated in the oat-taking ceremony of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 26, 2014. Next day, in his meeting with Sharif, Modi raised baseless issues like terrorism as a pre-condition to advance Pak-India dialogue. He stated that slow pace of trial against the terrorists of the Mumbai 26/11 terror case; being held in Pakistan is the main hurdle. Ex-Prime Minister Sharif remained silent and did not point out Indian cross-border terrorism in various regions of Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan province. He never gave any statement regarding Indian RAW which has been destabilizing Pakistan through various-terrorism related assaults.
The disqualified Prime Minister also remained silent about the Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadhav who has openly admitted that he was the serving agent of RAW.
Nonetheless, the above mentioned facts, undoubtedly, proved the disqualified Prime Minister’s Nawaz Sharif’s Indian connections.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations