Last week while giving an interview to Dawn News reporter Cyril Almedia, Nawaz Sharif’s statement regarding Pakistan having an alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks caused a massive country-wide uproar. Sharif in precise stated, “Militant organisations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai? Explain it to me. Why can’t we complete the trial?” Soon after the statement went viral, Indian media and authorities became rampant and started blaming Pakistan for the brutal attack. A headline from Hindustan Times stated,”Pakistani terrorists carried out 26/11 Mumbai attacks, admits former PM,Nawaz Sharif.”On the other hand, Times Now went a step further by stating, “Now, Pakistan can’t get rid of 26/11 stain”. All these statements ultimately paved the way for Indian media, establishment and political elite giving them much stronger grounds to reaffirm their stance on Mumbai attacks. It was not so surprising when the anti-Pakistan narrative got strengthened across the globe in the blink of an eye. The criticism across the country continued as Chairman PTI Imran Khan tweeted: “Nawaz Sharif is the modern-day Mir Jafar, who collaborated with the British to enslave his nation for personal gains. Nawaz speaking Modi’s language against Pak State simply to protect his ill-gotten Rs 300b stashed in his sons companies abroad.”In other words,Mr Khan accused Nawaz Sharif of being a sell-out using PM Modi’s language for personal gains. Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan under whose watch the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was investigating the Mumbai attacks, argued that since the assault took place in the Indian financial capital, it was the Indian government which possessed “90 percent of the evidence and facts” of the incident. Reflecting on Sharif’s recent statement,Nisar further highlighted how the Indian government deliberately refused to share all those facts and evidence with FIA and hence were themselves to be blamed for the hold-up in the Mumbai attacks trial. Being a seasoned politician and three-time premier, Sharif cannot be unmindful of the consequences of his remarks for his country’s image on the international stage Later on, PML-N officially mentioned how the statement issued by the party’s “Quaid” was “grossly misinterpreted” by the Indian media. It was also mentioned that Nawaz, a patriotic Pakistani, did not need anyone’s certificate to prove his love for Pakistan. Moreover, the National Security Committee meeting on Monday, which had been convened on the Army’s request, was held with Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi in the chair,rejected Sharif’s claim about Mumbai attacks as incorrect and misleading. But interestingly, on Tuesday, it seemed as if fate had other plans when Nawaz Sharif while speaking to reporters at accountability court rejected NSC statement, terming it as painful and regrettable. While reading all these statements as they came one by one, I couldn’t help but draw an analogy where Sharif’s condition is akin to a cat trapped inside a room with all exits sealed and stick-wielding people coming after the hapless animal. In such a situation, the cat invariably pounces at the attacker’s face to escape. Sharif too in this case appears to have done that. Being a seasoned politician and three-time premier, Sharif cannot be unmindful of the consequences of his remarks for his country’s image internationally. In the Buner rally that took place later in the day, Mr Sharif appeared to push the narrative further, if that was possible, by demanding a national commission to establish who has committed treason in the country in light of his comments about militancy in general and the Mumbai attacks in particular. And hence it seems as if Nawaz himself was on the verge of dragging PML-N to a breaking point where the party is on the brink of getting politically ruptured. No wonder the upcoming elections have been plunged into a further state of uncertainty after the recent confession. Given the current discourse, it is safe to assume that Mr Abbasi, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other party members in PML-N will still attempt to provide further clarifications overnight in a bid to minimise the already perceived damage to PML-N’s election hopes. Ultimately, Nawaz Sharif on the other hand, who alleges the judiciary for taking orders from the ‘top’, allegedly from military establishment of Pakistan, is now bashing the state of Pakistan for his personal political survival. Nawaz’s comments on Mumbai attacks are a message to India and the US that he (Nawaz) believes in civilian supremacy, follows what the US and India ask him, and opposes armed forces of Pakistan. He believes this rhetoric will make him a favourable candidate for the US and India, to be elected as a prime minister in Pakistan yet again. But apparently, it seems as if Nawaz is digging his own grave by making way for political suicide. Sharif’s irresponsible statement has affected every patriotic citizen and soldier of Pakistan. Recently, resolutions against ousted prime minister have been brought in three provincial assemblies in Pakistan demanding registration of a treason case against him for his controversial remarks. Similarly, a petition was submitted in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday to register a treason case (under Article 6) against deposed prime minister filed by Aftab Virk on behalf of Pakistan AwaamiTehreek’s (PAT). His admission of Pakistan’s hand behind the Mumbai carnage has inevitably for the worse triggered further slide in Pakistan’s credibility before the international community. Adversely, it will have an impact on several cases in which Pakistan is stuck with India before the International Court of Justice including KulbhushanJadhav case.It remains to be seen if Sharif gets some substantive relief in the coming days as Pakistan is due to hold its next general election later this year. If nothing happens as per his wishes, it is highly likely that he may further up the ante and come up with more embarrassing statements which name and shame Pakistan. Till then, the storm awaiting Nawaz is yet to be seen. The writer graduated with an LLB Hons, University of London International Programmes. Twitter @fizzaalik Published in Daily Times, May 19th 2018.