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Pak former PM Nawaz Sharif admits Pakistan violated peace agreement with India in 1999

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (Photo: PMLN)

Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif admitted on Tuesday that Islamabad ‘violated’ an agreement with India in 1999.

Sharif’s disclosure unfolded during a meeting of the PML-N general council, where he assumed the presidency of the ruling party, six years post his disqualification 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 mentioned by Sharif was the “Lahore Declaration,” which he and then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee signed on February 21, 1999, with the goal of 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 asserted that he conducted nuclear tests despite facing pressure from the United States and subtly criticised 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 asserted that former ISI chief Gen Zahirul Islam had a hand 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 patronised by the army) and tell whether Gen Islam had talked about bringing the PTI into power,” Sharif said and added Khan would sit at the feet of the military establishment.

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