Shahbaz Sharif in denial mode following mass outrage over Taliban plea

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Lahore, Mar.16 (ANI): Pakistan's Punjab province Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who has come under fire for pleading to the Taliban to exempt his province from terror attacks, has said his remarks have been misreported and twisted by some quarters of the media.

Shahbaz said some portions of his speech on March 14 were reported 'out of context'.

"As far as criticism of the use of the word Punjab is concerned, it is clear that when a question was raised regarding blasts at a particular place, the reply had to be in the same context. The speaker had expressed his views on terrorism in Punjab and bomb blasts in Lahore. Therefore, I also referred to Punjab in my speech, which some people tried to use to their own advantage," Shahbaz clarified.

Meanwhile, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer has also criticised Shahbaz, saying his irresponsible remarks have alienated Punjab from the rest of the country and has hurt the sentiments of the people of the region.

"The statement has damaged the image of provincial harmony in the country, as Punjab is the largest stakeholder in the war against terror. Shahbaz's statement has proved that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is a provincial party, as it has disassociated Punjab from other provinces and hurt the sentiments of Punjabis," The Daily Times quoted Taseer, as saying.

Taseer said Shahbaz' statement clearly indicated that he supports the Taliban and its nefarious activities.

"It is unfortunate that the statement has come at a time when our armed forces are engaged in a war against the terrorists," he added. (ANI)

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