Pakistan violated peace agreement with India in 1999: Nawaz Sharif

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Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, admitted on Tuesday that Islamabad ‘violated’ an agreement with India in 1999. Sharif’s admission came during a PML-N general council meeting, where he assumed the presidency of the ruling party, six years after being disqualified by the country’s Supreme Court.

“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,” said Sharif.

The agreement referred to by Sharif is the “Lahore Declaration,” signed by him and then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on February 21, 1999, aimed at fostering peace and stability between India and Pakistan. However, shortly after the signing, Pakistani troops infiltrated the Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the Kargil War.

During the PML-N general council meeting, Sharif emphasized that he conducted nuclear tests despite facing pressure from the United States and subtly criticized former Prime Minister Imran Khan. “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 also claimed that former ISI chief Gen Zahirul Islam played a role in orchestrating the downfall of his government in 2017 to facilitate Imran Khan’s rise to power. “I ask Imran not to blame us (of being patronized by the army) and tell whether Gen Islam had talked about bringing the PTI into power,” Sharif said, adding that Khan would sit at the feet of the military establishment.

Additionally, Sharif alleged that former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Saqib Nisar, ousted him from the Prime Minister’s office in 2017 on a false case.

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