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Pakistan broke Lahore Agreement signed by me and Vajpayee. It was our fault: Nawaz Sharif I WATCH

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif openly acknowledged that Islamabad had "breached" a pact with India that he and his then-Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee had signed in 1999. This admission seems to allude to the Kargil misadventure led by General Pervez Musharraf.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Lahore Updated on: May 29, 2024 0:04 IST
In this Feb. 20, 1999 file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, left, receives Indian Prime
Image Source : AP/FILE In this Feb. 20, 1999 file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, left, receives Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Wagah border near Lahore, Pakistan.

Former Pakistan Prime Minister 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 General Pervez Musharraf.

"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.

VIDEO: Nawaz Sharif openly admitting how Pakistan violated Lahore Agreement 

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

"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 founder leader Imran Khan were true.

ISI Chief's role

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. 

The Lahore Declaration

The Lahore Declaration, inked on 21 February 1999 at the close of a landmark summit in Lahore, stands as a pivotal bilateral agreement and governance treaty between India and Pakistan. Ratified by the respective parliaments of both nations that same year, it marked a crucial step towards mutual understanding and cooperation in the realm of nuclear armament.

Central to the treaty were provisions aimed at fostering the responsible development of atomic arsenals and preventing accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons. By committing to these terms, both countries' leadership assumed a heightened obligation to steer clear of a nuclear arms race and to mitigate both non-conventional and conventional conflicts.

The signing ceremony, a widely covered affair, unfolded through a televised press conference featuring Nawaz Sharif and the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, symbolizing a shared commitment to fostering an environment of mutual confidence. This historic event holds profound significance in the annals of Pakistan's history, offering a beacon of hope for improved relations between the two neighbouring nations.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: PM Modi congratulates Shehbaz Sharif on becoming Pakistan's next Prime Minister

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