"Proves India's Stand": Nirmala Sitharaman On Nawaz Sharif's 26/11 Remark

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Nawaz Sharif's comments were "serious disclosure".

New Delhi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's statement on the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai vindicated India's stand. Mr Sharif has appeared to admit that the 26/11 attack -- which resulted in the deaths of 166 people nearly a decade ago -- had been carried out by terrorists from Pakistan.

The remark contradicts the official stand of Islamabad, which insists that India has not furnished enough evidence to prove that Pakistani terrorists were involved.

"Militant organisations are active. Call them 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?" Mr Sharif said during an interview, reported Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

Today, Ms Sitharaman said, "It's a serious disclosure. Hasn't India been following it? Saying that we strongly believe that the handlers of the 26/11 offences were in Pakistan. This only proves India's stand has been right all through the way".

India has maintained that the deadly attack in Mumbai was masterminded by Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed - a man who is allowed a free run in Pakistan. The operation, India said, was masterminded by Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.

After questioning Ajmal Kasab, one of the 10 attackers who was captured alive, India has furnished a considerable amount of evidence to Pakistan in 2009. But the trial against Hafiz Saeed and others has been floundering since it started in 2009 and Pakistan has repeatedly called for more evidence.India has responded saying Pakistan has been given enough evidence to nail the terrorists.

In November, when a Pakistan court ordered the release of Hafiz Saeed after 10 months of house arrest, the Pakistan government justified the move, saying the law was equal for all.

Highlights

  • Mr Sharif appeared to admit 26/11 was carried out Pakistani terrorists
  • Remark contradicts Pakistan's official stand
  • Defence Minister Sitharaman says it's a serious disclosure
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