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Pakistan's former dictator Pervez Musharraf responsible for unresolved Kashmir issue: Sharif's confidant

File photo of Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf. Photograph:( Reuters )

PTI Lahore, Pakistan Feb 05, 2019, 08.13 AM (IST)

Pakistan's former dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf was responsible for no breakthrough on the Kashmir issue as he launched the Kargil operation without the civilian government's approval to "sabotage" the talks with India and topple the Nawaz Sharif government, a close aide of the then prime minister said Monday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and Senator Pervaiz Rashid told reporters that "Sharif and the Indian leadership were holding talks on Kashmir and the latter was ready to resolve it but Musharraf launched the Kargil operation to sabotage the talks and topple the Sharif government".

General Musharraf, 75, who lives in Dubai, is facing several cases including a treason case for suspending the Constitution in 2007. The former military ruler left for the UAE in 2016 for medical treatment and has not returned since. He was the army chief during the Kargil War in 1999.

"Gen Musharraf is responsible for the blood of Kashimiris. Musharraf was the reason behind the suffering of Kashmiris as he did not let this issue resolved," he said, terming the Kargil operation a 'misadventure'.

This is Musharraf's biggest crime even more than toppling the Sharif government in October 1999, Rashid, a close confidant of Sharif, said. Before Musharraf went for the misadventure, India's then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to Lahore and went to Minar-e-Pakistan to accept the creation of Pakistan, the Senator claimed. Rashid demanded that Musharraf is brought to justice for his crimes, especially against Kashmiris.

Though Pakistan initially claimed that mujahideen were responsible for occupying strategic heights along the Line of Control in early 1999, Musharraf later revealed in his autobiography 'In The Line Of Fire' that regular army soldiers participated in the Kargil operation.

Over 500 Indian armed forces personnel laid down their lives during the 60-day long war. Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed every year on July 26, marking the successful conclusion of the war with Pakistan in the Kargil-Drass sector of Jammu and Kashmir in 1999.