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Kasab belongs to Pakistan, says Nawaz Sharif

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 19, 2008 13:54 IST
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Challenging President Asif Ali Zardari's assertion that there was no proof that the arrested Mumbai attacker hailed from Pakistan's Punjab province, former premier Nawaz Sharif has said that the suspect's village was cordoned off and his parents were not allowed to meet anyone.

'I have checked myself. His (Ajmal Amir Iman alias Ajmal Kasab) house and village has been cordoned off by the security agencies. His parents are not allowed to meet anybody. I don't understand why it has been done,' Sharif, who hails from Punjab, said in an interview to Geo News channel.

"The people and media should be allowed to meet Iman's parents so that the truth could come out in the open,' he said, adding, 'We need some kind of introspection.'

Zardari, who earlier acknowledged that the perpetrators of the Mumbai carnage could be 'non-state' actors from Pakistan, has now said there is still no 'real evidence' that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan.

'Have you seen any evidence to that effect? I have definitely not seen any real evidence to that effect,' Zardari told BBC in an interview earlier this week.

Pakistani security agencies and local officials in Faridkot have launched a cover-up since India made it public that Kasab belonged to the village in Punjab province and his father acknowledged to a Pakistani newspaper that the terrorist captured in India was his son.

Sharif also slammed President Zardari's rule, saying the functioning of the current Pakistan People's Party-led government is making Pakistan look like a 'failed state'.

Pakistan presents the picture of a failed and ungovernable state due to the absence of the government's writ and the country urgently needs a new roadmap to pull it out of the problems it is currently facing, he said.

The PML-N chief said the dictatorial rule of former President Pervez Musharraf had made the country ungovernable. "Since 1977, the army has ruled the country for more than 20 years. A State subjected to frequent military intervention in politics can only become ungovernable."

He said India should have shared intelligence about the Mumbai attacks with Pakistan instead of approaching the UN Security Council.

Sharif also criticised what he described as the government's 'clarifications' regarding the purported violation of Pakistani airspace by Indian fighter jets. Noting that Pakistan was getting isolated in the international community, Sharif said there is a need to find the root causes of terrorism. He also condemned Zardari's reported statement that US drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas would continue.

The government should make it clear to the US that such attacks went against the country's integrity and would not be tolerated, he said.

Though the PPP-led government had been in power for ten months, there was little hope of any improvement in the affairs of the state, Sharif said, adding that it was up to the nation to decide whether to make Pakistan a failed state or a successful state.

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