Petition filed against Nawaz Sharif to initiate Treason

After what appeared to be an admission by Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that Pakistani terrorists carried out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, known as 26/11, a petition was submitted in the Lahore High Court on Monday to register a case of treason against him.

The petition, filed by political party Pakistan Awaami Tehreek's (PAT) Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, stated that Mr Sharif's statement was against national security and state institutions. "Nawaz Sharif's statement is tantamount to treason. Instructions should be given to register a treason case against him," it said.

Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was also mentioned as a respondent in the petition apart from Mr Sharif, the Express Tribune reported.

The former Prime Minister, during an interview to the Dawn newspaper on May 12, had admitted that "militant organisations were active in Pakistan" and "such terror strikes (26/11) could have been prevented". At least 166 Indians and foreigners were killed in the attack in Mumbai.

"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 to the Karachi-based newspaper on Friday, in a clear reference to the Mumbai killings blamed on 10 Pakistani terrorists. One of them was caught and hanged.

"We have isolated ourselves. Despite sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan's narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it," he added.

Later, Mr Sharif faced a volley of criticism for his remarks. Opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), launched a broadside against him, calling him a "security threat".

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz stalwart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the former Interior Minister, did not endorse Mr Sharif's statement. He held India responsible for the delay in the trial of the Mumbai attack suspects.

Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Nawaz Sharif's statement, which he later said was "grossly misinterpreted".

The top brass of military leadership, including Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Lt. Gen. Naveed Mukhtar attended the meeting, held at the Prime Minister House.