For saying something that has been said several times before, former Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has been branded a traitor. Allegations that Pakistan sent non-state actors to India to conduct the infamous Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed have been made before. The attack had irked the international community, which readily accepted that it was Pakistan which was behind the incident. All the terrorists involved were killed, except Ajmal Kasab, who was later hanged on the orders of the Indian courts. Hardly a year after the attack, key suspect David Headley was arrested from Chicago airport. He was fleeing Pakistan to settle with his family in the US. When he was caught and asked to plead guilty, he did.He told his captors that he was assigned the job of spying on Mumbai to mark places for attack. He arranged for the resources needed to take the terrorists from the Pakistani sea to Indian waters. He also confessed that he had been part of Hafiz Saeed’s team, and that Pakistan’s premier spy agency the ISI had planned the attack together with the Lashker-e-Tayyaba (LeT) head. He also said that the terrorists were receiving instructions from Pakistan. The transcripts of these talks were procured for evidence. Several other cases were registered in Pakistan and India against the suspects. Pakistan has asked the Indian government to send 24 Indian witnesses to Pakistan to record their statement. It has been almost seven years since the case is pending. Instead of sending the witnesses, India has been demanding that Pakistan reopen the case and start a trial on the basis of evidence collected from Hafiz Saeed and LeT operation commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. What is more intriguing about the Mumbai attack is that it was so poorly executed that it exposed its perpetrators in a matter of a few weeks.Although there is evidence for the case against Pakistan, proving it complicit in the attack, the dominant narrative in Pakistan is that it was a false flag operation from the Indian intelligence agency RAW. The operation’s purpose? To malign Pakistan. The question here is, do intelligence agencies carry out such operations? A glance at the history of the US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), reveals that they do indeed. Regime change or civil wars have taken in place in every country the US has ever ‘intervened’ in.It is an accepted fact that the CIA had its fangs in Cuba before the Cuban revolution. In fact, much of the upheaval in Latin America has CIA involvement somewhere. Although there is evidence for the case against Pakistan, proving it complicit in the attack, the dominant narrative in Pakistan is that it was a false flag operation from the Indian intelligence agency RAW. The operation’s purpose? To malign Pakistan. The question here is, do intelligence agencies carry out such operations? There is plenty of evidence that India has long been meddling in Pakistan’s internal affairs through its proxies. It has been most active in India and Balochistan. Pakistan has already given the UN evidence that India has supported the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in its operations. But then what makes the Mumbai attack so unique in the present scenario? The civil-military tension. The relationship between Pakistan’s military and the civilian ruling elite has long been burdened by mistrust. In all fairness, Pakistan has never seen any civilian government complete its tenure without hiccups. In comparison, in all the three of Pakistan’s martial laws, the Generals spent considerable time in office without much disturbance. Military dictators have always been ousted after spending many years in office. Where do we go from here? Nawaz Sharif may have done the wrong thing by divulging matters of national security, and blaming his own country for conducting the Mumbai attack. But it is equally wrong to scheme against the PML-N government, with no other aim, but to control the power structure. The culture of vengeful politics is in full swing. Stung thrice, Nawaz Sharif is not taking this new gambit against him lying down. Now he stands accused of being an Indian Trojan Horse, though there is no solid proof behind this accusation. Overall it is the stature of Pakistan that has suffered the most, as now the whole world can see Pakistan for what it is, a country divided. No wonder our own narrative about the Mumbai attack is not accepted internationally. We remain dubious and unreliable in the eyes of the world. The writer is a journalist; she can be reached at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, May 17th 2018.