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Musharraf convinced Sharief to withdraw: Zinni
June 07, 2004 22:13 IST
It was General Pervez Musharraf, known as the brain behind the Kargil incursions of 1999, who convinced Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief to accept United States President Bill Clinton's proposal to withdraw across the Line of Control and end the conflict, reveals General Anthony Zinni, the four-star Marine general who retired as head of the US Central Command in 2000, in Battle Ready, his memoirs co-authored by best-selling writer Tom Clancy.
At the height of the Kargil crisis, Gen Zinni's peace mission helped influence Pakistan's decision to withdraw and set the stage for important revisions to official US contact policy in South Asia, say reports.
Gen Zinni was sent as President Clinton's personal emissary to Islamabad to warn Sharief and Pakistan's generals that the US would not bail them out if India decided to launch a major attack across the Line of Control. There was also the threat to stall a $100 million loan from the International Monetary Fund.
In his book, Gen Zinni points out that the civilian leadership was disinclined to withdraw fearing massive loss of face. According to Zinni, it was Gen Musharraf, Sharief's chief of army staff at the time, who "encouraged Prime Minister Sharief to hear me out".
Zinni goes on to claim that the "the entire operation was planned and executed by the Pakistan Army."
On June 27, immediately after a meeting with Zinni, Musharraf told journalists that Sharief would be meeting Clinton soon. Media reports at the time suggested that the mechanics of a negotiated withdrawal by Pakistan had been discussed between Zinni and Musharraf a day earlier.
This announcement from the army commander rather than from Prime Minister Sharief's office lend credence to the assertion that Musharraf knew about the US terms and had agreed to it, say Pakistani media reports.
More reports from Pakistan
Read about: Indo-Pak Peace Talk | Coup in Pakistan