On Saturday, December 9, Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced support for improved relations with neighboring India. He asserted that his removal from power in 1999 by General Pervez Musharraf was linked to his lack of support for the ‘Kargil plan’.
“I should be told why I was ousted in 1993 and 1999. When I opposed the Kargil plan saying it should not happen… I was ousted (by Gen Pervez Musharraf). And later what I said proved right,” Sharif said during a party meeting in Lahore.
In the spring of 1999, the Pakistan Army occupied the winter-vacated posts of Indian Army at the heights of Kargil in India’s Jammu and Kashmir. The posts were subsequently reclaimed by Indian Army after a three-month war at the height 5000m above the sea level.
A brainchild of Pakistan’s then-army chief Pervez Musharraf, the ‘Kargil plan’ was reportedly presented to Pakistani prime ministers at least twice in the early 1990s and was finally executed in 1999 when Sharif was the prime minister.
Pakistan’s imposition of war in May 1999 occurred just months after India’s then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee launched a bus service between New Delhi and Pakistani city of Lahore, an unprecedented peace gesture that ended with a summit between Sharif and Vajpayee in Lahore in February 1999.
During the course of Kargil war, Sharif had claimed he was not aware of his own army’s act of initiation of war in Kargil.
On Saturday (Dec 9), while addressing his party’s parliamentary board meeting in Lahore, he reiterated the need to improve relations with India as well as Afghanistan, Iran and China.
Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister of Pakistan when his government was overthrown in a coup d’etat on October 12, 1999. The coup was incited by those who seized control of the civilian government.
He said, “During my time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Pakistan.”
The PML-N supremo also vowed to hold those accountable who ruined the country.
“The country was thriving from 2013 to 2017 and the economy was better, however, good people were thrown out and Pakistan was handed to clumsy people.”