The 1999 agreement, about which Nawaz Sharif had spoken

Ananya Shroff
5 Min Read

New Delhi : Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif admitted that Islamabad has violated the 1999 Lahore Declaration with India. He said this in clear reference to the attack carried out by General Pervez Musharraf in Kargil. Clearly referring to Pakistan's Kargil misadventure, Nawaz Sharif admitted that the then government has violated the Lahore Declaration. This is a big mistake of Pakistan. As soon as this comment of Nawaz Sharif came out, a round of discussions started. After all, what was that agreement related to the 1999 Lahore Declaration that the former Prime Minister of Pakistan has discussed.

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When was the Lahore Agreement signed?

Addressing the party's general council after being elected president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN), Nawaz Sharif said that on 28 May 1998, Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests. After that Atal Bihari Vajpayee sahab came here and made an agreement with us. But, we violated that agreement, it was our mistake. Nawaz Sharif and Atal Bihari Vajpayee signed the Lahore Agreement on 21 February 1999. This agreement between India and Pakistan was with a view to peace and stability between the two countries.

Nawaz Sharif admits, Pakistan violated the agreement made with Vajpayee in 1999

Highlights of 1999 Lahore Agreement

In the 1999 Lahore Agreement between India and Pakistan, both governments focused on peace and stability. We will intensify our efforts to resolve all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir. We will refrain from interference and meddling in each other's internal affairs. We will take immediate steps to reduce the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons. This agreement was an important diplomatic initiative to resolve the strained relations between the two countries.

Pakistani intrusion in Kargil only after the agreement

However, the Kargil war occurred due to Pakistani intrusion into the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir a few months after the Lahore Agreement. Musharraf took this step at a time when both the countries had recently conducted nuclear tests and were trying to present themselves as responsible nuclear neighbours to the world through the Lahore Agreement. This action of the Pakistani army was so embarrassing for the then Vajpayee government, which had signed the 'Lahore Agreement' with much fanfare, that it did not let the country know what was happening in Kargil until it retaliated in haste.

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When Musharraf staged a coup in Pakistan

The Lahore Agreement was signed in February 1999. Then the parliaments of both the countries immediately approved it, but the Kargil war broke out in July 1999. Despite facing a huge defeat in Kargil, Pervez Musharraf took advantage of his popularity in Pakistan. As soon as he got the opportunity, he toppled the Nawaz Sharif government. In October 1999, the entire country was in his hands.

Musharraf's visit to India for the Agra Accord

Not even two years had passed since the Kargil war when Pervez Musharraf came to Delhi with great pomp and show beating the drum of the 'Agra Agreement', which no Pakistani PM had ever had the privilege of bringing here. This agreement was to be signed in accordance with the spirit of the Lahore Agreement to establish permanent peace between the two countries, end terrorism and solve the Kashmir problem, but it could not be signed at the last moment. Both countries only remembered the Shimla Agreement of 1972, along with Agra, the name of the Lahore Agreement was also forgotten.

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