"After PM Abbasi's press conference, I feel it is pertinent for me to address this issue," Imran Khan said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad.
PM Abbasi, during a press conference earlier in the day, said that Nawaz's statements about the Mumbai attacks in an interview to Dawn were being misrepresented by Indian media. He urged that people in Pakistan should not become a party to the propaganda.
"However, we need to first understand this story completely before I come back to the prime minister's statement," Imran said.
The PTI chief said the Indian media celebrated Nawaz Sharif's statement as "their stance on the matter has always been that the Pakistan Army was involved in this whole matter."
"Barkha Dutt wrote in her book that Nawaz and Indian Prime Minister Modi met in secret in India, because Modi was trying to hide the meeting from the extremist elements in his party while Nawaz was trying to hide the meeting from Pakistan army," Imran Khan said while adding that it was after this meeting that Modi had called Pakistan's chief of the army staff of the time "the sardar of terrorism."
"Nawaz said Pakistan had stalled the [Mumbai attacks] trial, while both previous interior ministers said that it was India that stalled the case.
"My question is, Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister for four years, his party is about to complete a five-year term, why did he not do anything about this matter during all this time?" the PTI chief asked.
He demanded: "Why did he not try and stop non-state actors during his time as a prime minister and if he could not stop them, why did he not resign?"
"When I went to India, people were discussing Pakistan Army and Nawaz Sharif, and the perspective was that it is the [Pakistan] army that is creating problems for them, however, Nawaz wants to have a good relationship with India," Imran Khan said.
"We need to understand why this statement was issued at this time. It has come now because Nawaz knows the accountability court will soon announce it's verdict [in the National Accountability Bureau references]," the PTI chief said.
"Nawaz was asked two fundamental questions in the case and he could not answer either of them, instead he decided to malign the judiciary and the armed forces," the PTI chief said, while adding that if Nawaz gets another NRO today "both the judiciary and the army will be back in his good books."
"Nawaz is standing by his statement while the prime minister insists that the statement was misquoted in the Indian media. Well then Abbasi and Shahbaz Sharif both need to explain how the statement has been misquoted in the Indian media," the PTI chairman demanded.
A three-time PM is not expected to speak of national security with such recklessness: Siraj
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) leader and Jamat-i-Islami Chief Sirajul Haq also commented on the matter and said that Nawaz has chosen an inopportune moment to comment on the Mumbai attacks.
"Every clarification that Nawaz is giving is hurting him and his political party. He should accept his mistake," Haq said.
"A three-time prime minister is not expected to speak of matters of national security with such recklessness," the JI chief said while adding that Pakistan is "under international pressure which is why all political leaders should be careful while speaking about national matters."
Nawaz's statement is badly timed: Musharraf
Former president Pervez Musharraf also commented on the controversy and said that Nawaz Sharif's statement is badly timed.
"Nawaz Sharif's statement was badly timed and he has placed blame on Pakistan's army and the establishment," Musharraf said.
"Nawaz had earlier chosen to withdraw our forces from Kargil and then blame me for it," he said while adding that Nawaz, who was prime minister at the time, was pressured into making the call by the US on India's request.
"He went to the US and ordered the withdrawal of our troops from there and then proceeded to blame me for the events of Kargil," Musharraf said.
He said the timing of the comments suggest that there must be "some hidden reason behind it."