I learnt about Kargil from Vajpayee, says Nawaz

Published May 29, 2006 12:00am

NEW DELHI, May 28: Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday he learnt of the Kargil incursion from his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Mr Sharif told Press Trust of India in London that he received the information through an urgent call from Mr Vajpayee in May 1999.

Almost all the Pakistani corps commanders were also unaware of the “ill-conceived, ill-planned and ill-executed misadventure of army chief Gen Pervez Mushar-raf,” he said and added, “just two or three of his cronies knew.”

With the Kargil operation, Gen Musharraf ‘sabotaged’ the understanding reached by him with Mr Vajpayee in Lahore to resolve all India-Pakistan problems, including Kashmir, Mr Sharif said.

Recalling his July 4, 1999 meeting with US President Bill Clinton in Washington, Mr Sharif said he had sought the US leader’s good offices to resolve the matter amicably.

Mr Sharif sees Gen Musharraf as a ‘very impulsive man, erratic in behaviour and not a very stable person.’

“India should not be doing business with any usurper or a military dictator... India should condemn such (military) takeovers whether in Pakistan or elsewhere,” he said.

“By inviting Gen Musharraf to the Agra summit, India conferred legitimacy on him,” he said. “To me it amounted to recognising a military dictator although his rule is still unconstitutional, unlawful and immoral. Why should you talk to a man like that?”

When asked if he was happy with the India-Pakistan peace process under President Musharraf, Mr Sharif said: “The foundation was laid when I was prime minister. But, the Kargil episode came in between.”

When asked if Gen Musharraf had allegedly done so because he did not support the Lahore Declaration, Mr Sharif replied: “No. I think Musharraf and his cronies had some obsession about it (Kargil) for a long time.”

Mr Sharif dismissed as ‘wild ideas’ President Musharraf’s proposed solutions to the Kashmir issue such as demilitarisation and joint control.


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