Sharif had bailed out Musharraf: PML-N

After the Kargil fiasco, Musharraf panicked and Sharif was asked to bail the military out of the 'misadventure', a PML-N fact sheet said.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2006 18:22 IST

PML chief Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain had asked the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to "bail the military out of the Kargil misadventure" by accepting collective responsibility, a fact sheet released on the Kargil episode has said.

According to the PML-N document, Hussain told Nawaz to close the chapter after the latter expressed dismay with Musharraf, the then army chief of Pakistan.

"When the prime minister expressed dismay with Musharraf, Shujaat tried to calm down the situation by suggesting mitti pao (suppress the issue)".

Hussain said: "Whatever we did, we should stress that Kargil was our joint effort, and suggested that Nawaz bailout the military by accepting collective responsibility," the Daily Times quoted from the fact sheet.

Hussain is considered a trusted lieutenant of Musharraf, who had installed him as interim prime minister before the present incumbent Shaukat Aziz took over.

The fact sheet also maintained that Musharraf kept the then government in the dark about the Kargil operation.

The document said that the Kargil operation was underway in January 1999, but Musharraf gave an incomplete briefing to Nawaz only in May.

It added that Army Chief Pervez Musharraf panicked when the 1999 Kargil conflict broke out with India and decided to brief then Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif for soliciting his support.

"It is clear that when a war broke out between India and Pakistan, only then did Musharraf panic, and decided to brief Nawaz on the situation for his support.

This briefing on May 17, 1999, was not complete," it said.

PML-N secretary general Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and the PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal released the document challenging Musharraf's claims about Kargil in his book In the Line of Fire.

They said in the fact sheet: "Even the trusted friend and saviour of Musharraf, Hussain, conceded that the General had acted unilaterally, without taking the elected government into confidence.

In the spirit of national interest, Sharif took "initiatives" to "find a suitable exit strategy".

There were calls from within his parliamentary party to take disciplinary action against Musharraf".

Calling In the Line of Fire an account of "self-praise" and "self-deception", the PML-N leaders said: "The centrepiece of the controversy is whether Musharraf undertook this 'adventure' with some 'ulterior motives', without the approval of the government, or was the operation formally authorised by the then prime minister?"

According to Musharraf's book, Sharif was briefed on the Kargil operation on January 29, February 5, March 12, May 17, and June 2 in 1999, but the PML-N leaders denied this.

First Published: Oct 11, 2006 14:02 IST