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Nawaz Sharif on Kargil: Violated pact with Vajpayee, our fault

By M Zulqernain
May 28, 2024 19:59 IST
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Former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday admitted that Islamabad had "violated" an agreement with India signed by him and ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, in an apparent reference to the Kargil misadventure by Gen Pervez Musharraf.

IMAGE: Prime Ministers A B Vajpyee and Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, February 1999. Photograph: Rediff archives

"On May 28, 1998, Pakistan carried out five nuclear tests. After that Vajpayee Saheb came here and made an agreement with us. But we violated that agreement... it was our fault," Sharif told a meeting of the PML-N general council that elected him president of the ruling party six years after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court.


Sharif and Vajpayee signed the Lahore Declaration on February 21, 1999, after a historic summit. The agreement that talked about a vision of peace and stability between the two countries signalled a major breakthrough, but a few months later Pakistani intrusion in the Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir led to the Kargil War.

"President Bill Clinton had offered Pakistan USD 5 billion to stop it from carrying out nuclear tests but I refused. Had (former prime minister) Imran Khan like a person been on my seat he would have accepted Clinton's offer," Sharif said on a day when Pakistan marked the 26th anniversary of its first nuclear tests.

Sharif, 74, talked about how he was removed from the office of the prime minister in 2017 on a false case by then chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar. He said all cases against him were false while the cases against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder leader Imran Khan were true.

He also talked about the role of former ISI chief Gen Zahirul Islam in toppling his government in 2017 to bring Imran Khan into power. He asked Imran Khan to deny that he was not launched by the ISI.

"I ask Imran not to blame us (of being patronised by the army) and tell whether Gen Islam had talked about bringing the PTI into power," he said and added Khan would sit at the feet of the military establishment.

The three-time premier talked about receiving a message from Gen Islam to resign from the office of prime minister (in 2014). "When I refused, he threatened to make an example of me," he said.

Sharif also praised his younger brother Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for standing by his side through thick and thin. "Efforts were made to create differences between us but Shehbaz remained loyal to me. Even Shehbaz was asked to become PM in the past and leave me but he declined," he said.

Sharif said after assuming the office of the PML-N president he would renew efforts to strengthen the party.

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M Zulqernain in Lahore
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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