Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has accused former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of lying about the 1999 Kargil War, saying that the exiled PML (N) leader was completely on board about the aggressive intentions of the Pakistan Army in that sector throughout its duration.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Business Plus Channel, Musharraf was quoted by the Daily Times as saying that he had pictorial evidence to prove that Sharif was kept in confidence on the situation in Kargil.
To prove his point, Musharraf showed pictures of Nawaz Sharif's visit to Kel in Kashmir in the south of Kargil and his briefing there by the army high command on February 5, 1999, before the visit of the Indian prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Lahore on February 19, 1999.
"Look at these pictures. In one of these pictures, I am receiving him (Nawaz Sharif), in another he is being briefed by Commander Mehmood at Kel who later became DG ISI, while in yet another he is addressing the troops there. All these pictures were taken the same day," said Musharraf.
"Why had he gone to Kel at a time when all such things were underway. During heavy snow...what was the necessity that forced him to go to Kel?...One cannot do anything if someone is telling lies so consistently," he added.
The Pakistan president was responding to Sharif's allegations in a recently released book that he (Sharif) first learnt of the Kargil 'adventure' from Vajpayee.
Theinterview, which will be broadcast at 10 p.m. tonight, proves that Sharif was not only aware of the Kargil planning, but was regularly briefed by his military commanders, including Musharraf (who was then the country;s Army Chief) about Kargil attack plans.
Sharif has given his account of the 1999 conflict in the book: "Ghaddar Kaun? Nawaz Sharif ki Kahani unki Zubani".
In one particualr section of the book, he says: "As a prime minister, I was not taken into confidence on Kargil.
I came to know what the army was doing from Prime Minister AB Vajpayee. Even the Air and Naval chiefs as well as many corps commanders of the army did not know about the Kargil operation."
Referring to Sharif's claim, Musharraf bluntly said: "A prime minister is not worth his salt if he is being informed about Kargil operation by his Indian counterpart."
Sounding a note of warning, he said that Sharif should exercise caution in so far as statements on Kargil were concerned.
"I would advise him to talk economically on this issue because it is an issue of great national confidentiality," he said.