Finally, Pakistan might have accepted that not only was Kargil a “misadventure”, it was also a “stab in the back” of the trust reposed by former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Though there is no official confirmation of the same, the Indian media has reported that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made the following comments at a rally in Muzaffarabad:
“Vajpayee told me that he was stabbed in the back because of Pakistan’s misadventure in Kargil, especially during the process of Lahore Declaration. Vajpayee was right. I would have said the same thing – he was certainly backstabbed (in Kargil).”
Television channels in India aired a grainy footage of the Pakistani Prime Minister addressing a conference and making the admission in Urdu.
The video has, however, not been verified and neither has any prominent Pakistani daily made any reference to Nawaz’s purported admission.
In the video, Sharif is heard lamenting: “Who do I complain to about that (Kargil) now. We (India and Pakistan) pray to the same God.”
If this is true then it would be an unprecedented event in the history of Indo-Pak relations. Not only will this take the peace process to a level no third party could ever take to, it will also help in boosting economic, cultural as well as strategic interests between the two countries.
New Delhi and Islamabad are looking forward to resume the comprehensive bilateral dialogue (CBD) that was launched in 1998 but stalled after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
It must be noted here that following the Pathankot attack by terrorists from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), Sharif not only promised strict action against the terror outfit but also followed it up by a crackdown at their centres and making arrests of key leaders.
At the same time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unusual restraint by not squarely blaming Pakistan for attack was seen as a great diplomatic move. Just days before the attack, Modi had paid an unscheduled goodwill visit to Sharif in Islamabad and attended the wedding of the Pakistani PM’s granddaughter.
Both Pakistan under Sharif and India under Modi have shown signs of an improvement in ties since 2014. Methinks this happened on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Change Conference.