Could this be another moment of civilian-military tussle in Pakistan? Not much time has lapsed since the country's ousted prime minister made a controversial remark that his country erred in not stopping terrorists from crossing the border and kill several in Mumbai during the 2008 attacks and also failed to complete the trials, the Pakistani Army has gone into a huddle, convening a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
"NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning," Pakistani Army's official spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet on Sunday, May 13.
Sharif's explosive remarks came on Friday, May 11, during an interview in which he took on Pakistan's foreign policy. Sharif was disqualified as the prime minister by Pakistan's judiciary in July last year on charges of hiding salary he took from his son's company in the UAE. With a few months go before the next parliamentary election in Pakistan, it was being seen as Sharif's efforts to feign statesmanship to achieve a moral high ground.
Sharif also said in the interview that Pakistan's failure saw it getting isolated in world affairs despite making sacrifices. He also said even countries like China and Russia, with which Pakistan has close relations, were questioning its struggle. Sharif's admission that militants carried out a mayhem in India and Pakistan's inability to complete the trial opened the floodgates as the Indian establishment and media jumped onto the stage to pick up the issue.
NSC meeting suggested to Prime Minister to discuss recent misleading media statement regarding Bombay incident. Being held tomorrow morning.— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) May 13, 2018
Pakistan's former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan, who served under Sharif between 2013 and 2017, disagreed to agree with Sharif saying it was instead India which had put up obstacles on the way of the trial and also hanged Ajmal Kasab, the only living terrorist captured after the attacks, in a hurry to continue to vilify Pakistan in front of the world. According to Nisar, the reality was that Pakistan had sought cooperation from India over the probe but the latter never obliged.
Sharif was known to have a poor relation with the military during his tenure as the the PM. In October 2016, the relationship took a serious dip after Sharif asked the military to taker a strong stand on the militants or risk facing an international isolation. It is also being said that the army was indirectly behind Sharif's ouster in 2017.
Will his latest remarks worsen the tussle even further between the ruling PML-N and the army?