Nawaz Sharif, the former PM of Pakistan has again been accused of favouring India. After accusations by former Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, another senior diplomat and former High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit has asserted that Sharif’s business interests had led to some actions which were against the national interests of Pakistan.
Confirming the claims made by Aslam, Basit said that Nawaz Sharif wanted to develop a good relationship with India by striking a ‘private equation’ with PM Narendra Modi but this method, according to Basit, was wrong.
As far as the issue of Jammu and Kashmir was concerned, Basit said that he made no secrets over his stance on Nawaz Sharif’s Kashmir policy. He said it was a declared policy of Pakistan to support the Hurriyat leadership and as High Commissioner to India, Basit said he had followed the same policy.
“Though I was conveyed verbal directions many a time, I had always insisted on written directions from the prime minister,” he asserted. Commenting on the business interests of Nawaz Sharif with India, Abdul Basit said that the Sharif family had sugar mills in Pakistan.
“I remember that Nawaz Sharif’s nephew, Salman Shehbaz, used to call me on phone at least once a month for issuance of visas to certain Indian nationals. I used to ask Salman Shehbaz to follow the Standard Operating Procedures for the issuance of visas to foreigners. But there were occasions that some visas were issued on verbal instructions due to emergency situations,” he said.
Talking over Sharif’s connections with Indian steel magnet Sajan Jandal, Abdul Basit said that Jindal was very close to Sharif and wanted him to invest in coal mines in Pakistan. He said that Nawaz Sharif did take some measures which were against the interests of Pakistan.
Aslam also said that Sharif had business interests in India and he did not meet leaders of India-held Kashmir’s political party Hurriyat Conferences when he visited India as the prime minister. “Usually, every prime minister of Pakistan meets Hurriyat leaders but Nawaz Sharif did not meet them when he visited India.”
Referring to the Pathankot incident occurred on January 2, 2016, Abdul Basit said Nawaz government also got registered FIRs against some Pakistani individuals which were not in the interest of Pakistan.