India responds to Nawaz Sharif’s remarks, calls it a perspective based on reality | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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India responds to Nawaz Sharif’s remarks, calls it a perspective based on reality

May 30, 2024 09:36 PM IST

Nawaz Sharif told a gathering on Tuesday that Pakistani violated the 1999 peace agreement signed by him and Atal Bihari Vajpayee

NEW DELHI: India on Thursday responded to former Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif’s contention that Islamabad violated the Lahore Declaration of 1999, saying that a “perspective based on reality” is emerging on the Pakistani side.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was re-elected president of Pakistan's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N party in 2017, when he was forced out of office while facing corruption allegations. (AP FILE PHOTO)
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was re-elected president of Pakistan's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N party in 2017, when he was forced out of office while facing corruption allegations. (AP FILE PHOTO)

Soon after Sharif was re-elected as president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party in Lahore on Tuesday, he told a gathering that Islamabad violated the peace agreement signed by him and former Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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This wasn’t the first time that Sharif made such an assertion, but his comments were significant as they came amid general elections in India.

When external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal was asked about Sharif’s remarks at a regular media briefing, he replied: “You are aware of our position on the issue. We note that even in Pakistan, a perspective based on reality is coming to the fore.”

The Indian side has consistently blamed Pakistan for the failure of the Lahore Declaration by triggering the Kargil border conflict of 1999.

Jaiswal didn’t go into details but his comments were a reference to the conflict triggered by Pakistan when its troops made incursions across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and occupied strategic heights in the Kargil sector in 1999.

Sharif, who was prime minister at the time, has long insisted that he wasn’t aware of the incursions ordered by the then Pakistan Army chief, Gen Pervez Musharraf. Sharif has also said in the past that he learnt about the Pakistani military’s adventurism in Kargil through a phone call from Vajpayee. The two countries fought a bitter conflict that saw the Pakistani troops being evicted from most of the heights they had occupied by India’s army and air force.

Following his re-election as the PML-N president after a gap of almost seven years, Sharif told the rally that the two countries signed an agreement when Vajpayee visited Lahore in February 1999.

“It is another matter that we violated the agreement, we are at fault for that,” Sharif said, speaking in Urdu. He was referring to the Lahore Declaration, which outlined a vision of peace and stability between India and Pakistan and committed the two sides to intensify efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, and refrain from intervention and interference in each other’s internal affairs.

Sharif, whose brother Shehbaz Sharif is the current prime minister of Pakistan, also recalled that former US president Bill Clinton offered Islamabad aid worth $5 billion so that it wouldn’t go ahead with nuclear tests in 1998, but he turned this down.

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