Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's efforts to make peace with India at the cost of 'selling Kashmir' had resulted in the 1999 Kargil war.
Defending his actions during the Kargil crisis of 1999, Musharraf who was the then army chief, claimed that Sharif was aware of the Pakistani military's actions when Pakistani troops occupied strategic heights along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir before they were evicted by Indian forces in July 1999.
"If you are going for peace by selling Kashmir and giving up your national interest, is that the peace that you want? No sir. Honour and dignity demands that you have peace with honour and dignity," he said during an interaction with the Intelligence Squared debating forum in London on Wednesday.
Kargil was only "one element of a long history", he said.
He claimed that Sharif's efforts to make peace with his Indian counterpart then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the cost of 'selling Kashmir' had resulted in the Kargil episode.
"What makes you think I declared war without the Prime Minister's knowledge? Please don't think so. Whatever had been done was in the knowledge of everyone," he told a questioner during the nearly 90-minute interaction.
The original version of the joint declaration drafted after Vajpayee visited Lahore at Sharif's invitation made no mention of the Kashmir issue, Musharraf claimed. The retired general said he had insisted that the issue should be included in the document.
The former military strongman also accused India of trying to create an 'anti-Pakistan' Afghanistan and said this has prompted Islamabad to take counter-measures to protect its interests.
Musharraf also accused Indian intelligence agencies of backing Baloch nationalist leaders based in Afghanistan. "There is no doubt in my mind, with all the proof, (that) India is trying to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan ...that is what is stabbing us in the back. Therefore we need to take counter measures as Pakistanis," he said.
In an apparent reference to Jamhoori Watan Party leader Brahamdagh Khan Bugti, the grandson of slain Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, Musharraf said: "Even today, the main person who is involved in terrorism in Balochistan is sitting in Kabul. We know the house that he sits in and we know that when he goes to Delhi, he is received by the intelligence, RAW."
Pakistan will take counter-measures to protect itself against such actions, said the 67-year-old former dictator who has been living in self-exile outside Pakistan since April last year.
He contended that the Indian Army and RAW had played a role in separating East Pakistan and creating Bangladesh.
"India and Pakistan have always been on a confrontationist approach since 1948. This needs to change. But it can change only when you resolve your core disputes and for a Pakistani leader to sell away national interests is unthinkable to me at least," he added.