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Pakistan on damage control mode over Sharif's interview

18 May 2018

But after the NSC meeting, Prime Minister Abbasi said he had met Sharif and the former leader told him he was "misquoted".

"Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me", he had said, in a clear reference to the Mumbai killings blamed on 10 Pakistani terrorists.

He also spoke about how the trial of the accused involved in the attack was being deliberately delayed and how the global community was not willing to believe Pakistan's plaint of being a victim of terror because of the Pak military's support for terrorists who target India.

His comments triggered a controversy, prompting the National Security Committee (NSC) - Pakistan's top civil-military body - to call a high-level meeting.

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A huddle of Pakistan's civilian and military leaderships is expected to take place over former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's admission of his county's involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, top-level government sources said. "Today Nawaz Sharif stands exposed before the nation".

To a query regarding PTI's rejection of forming a national commission in light of the recent treason allegations against him, the former premier said that PTI neither had character nor any ideology. "Who introduced terrorism to this attractive country?" he said. "What did I say in the interview that was wrong".

It is unacceptable that Nawaz is being branded as a traitor, Abbasi highlighted.

Mr Sharif said he will "speak the truth no matter what the consequences are".

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The former Prime Minister during an interview to Dawn on May 12 had admitted that "militant organisations were active in Pakistan" and "such terror strikes (26/11) could have been prevented".

He lamented that PTI was the party which stages protests, disrespects others, uses foul language and follows the instructions of the umpire.

He added: "Whatever was said during that interview and whatever was written by the reporter was misinterpreted by the Indian media in order to serve India's own purposes".

"The Indian media is giving the issue a different hue, and we should not be a part of it..." PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi also arrived at the accountability court to express solidarity with the party's supreme leader. Nine of the attackers were killed by police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was caught.

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Pakistan on damage control mode over Sharif's interview