Nawaz Sharif face rebellion within party after controversial interview: Sources

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ISLAMABAD - Nawaz Sharif faces rebellion inside the party as several members of PML-N's parliamentary party on Thursday voiced their reservations regarding a recent controversial interview of their party's supreme leader published by *Dawn*.

Nawaz, the former prime minster, in an interviews to *Dawn* had said: "should we allow them [non-state actors] to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?" — remarks that were perceived across the border as an open admission that the state of Pakistan was involved in the infamous 2008 Mumbai attacks.

In a parliamentary committee meeting chaired by incumbent PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif today, several party members — reportedly including Sardar Ashiq Hussain Gopang, Abdul Rahman Kanju and Shafqat Baloch — expressed concerns regarding the interview, noting that Nawaz's remarks were played up by the Indian media and that chants of *Modi ka jo yar hai, ghaddar hai ghaddar hai* (Whoever is Modi's friend is a traitor) had subsequently done the rounds.

At this, Shahbaz, who has taken over from Nawaz as the PML-N president following the latter's disqualification, said that "whoever arranged that interview is the biggest enemy of Nawaz Sharif ".

Shahbaz said no one should say things which could hurt the country, and assured his party that there will soon be a softness in Nawaz's rhetoric on contentious issues.

Shahbaz did defend his sibling, saying: "No one is more patriotic than Nawaz Sharif ". However, he also added that he will try and convince the PML-N 'supreme leader' to consult his party before talking on sensitive matters.

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