Former PM Sharif says Kasab is Pakistani
In the midst of flip-flops and cover-up attempts in Pakistan about the identity of Ajmal Amir Kasab, former premier Nawaz Sharif has emerged the lone voice against attempts to “cordon off” his village Faridkot and bar the media from entering it. Repercussions of Nawaz Shariff's statementAjmal ID: Pak court admits petition over Geo reportworld Updated: Dec 20, 2008 01:02 IST
In the midst of flip-flops and cover-up attempts in Pakistan about the identity of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone captured terrorist in Mumbai, former premier Nawaz Sharif has emerged the lone voice against attempts to “cordon off” his village Faridkot and bar the media from entering it.
“It has been said this individual named Ajmal Kasab hails from Faridkot village,” Sharif told Geo News in an interview. “I’ve seen and I personally got this checked. The village and its surrounding areas were cordoned off. His parents are not being allowed to meet anyone. What was the need to do this? If (Kasab) is not involved (in the Mumbai attacks), then he is not involved. People should be allowed to meet everyone in that area. All this points to the fact that we too need to set our house in order.”
Sharif said if Kasab was “involved in any way, despite that his parents should be allowed to speak out and say the boy has been (away from home) for three or four months or one or two years and we’re also very worried about him”.
He wanted to know why people and journalists were being barred from meeting Kasab’s parents and other residents of Faridkot.
Pakistani security agencies and officials in Faridkot have launched an apparent cover-up operation since India revealed that Kasab belonged to the village. His parents have reportedly been shifted from the village.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who had teamed up with Sharif to oust Pervez Musharraf from power, had earlier acknowledged that 26/11 perpetrators could be “non-state” actors from Pakistan. He later said there was still no “real evidence” that the terrorists who attacked Mumbai came from Pakistan.
Kasab has told Indian investigators that he belongs to Faridkot village of Okara district in Pakistan’s Punjab province and that he was trained by the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba to carry out the attacks. His father, Amir Kasab, had admitted that the gunman in pictures beamed by the world media was his son.In the interview, Sharif also attacked Zardari, saying the functioning of the Pakistan People’s Party-led government was 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; the country needs a new road map to pull it out of the problems it is facing," he said. He said it was up to the nation to decide whether to make Pakistan a failed or successful state.
Repercussions of Nawaz Shariff's statement
First Published: Dec 19, 2008 13:47 IST