Musharraf says he got ever so close to resolving Kashmir during Agra summit

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Lahore, June 27 (ANI): Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has claimed that he came near to resolving the Kashmir dispute during the infamous Agra summit in 2001.

In an interview to a private television channel, Musharraf said that he and the then India Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had even agreed to draft a joint declaration regarding the Kashmir issue, but blamed New Delhi for ditching Islamabad at the last moment.

"The Indian leadership changed their mind at the last minute and did not support the joint declaration, saying that the cabinet had not approved it," The Daily Times quoted Musharraf, as saying.

Musharraf said he tried his best to resolve the issue which is pending for years, and in that context even held talks with all the stakeholders such as All-Parties Hurriyat Conference and various leaders of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

He, however, said the meetings did not yield substantial results, as the leaders 'failed to guide him in the right direction'.

Musharraf also rejected the notion that the country's Army did not want a resolution on the Kashmir issue.

He said all such reports were primarily aired to malign the image of the security forces, and a part of a "vicious propaganda" against the country.

Musharraf also rebuffed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's claims that he was kept in the dark regarding the Kargil issue.

Terming Sharif's statement as "an absolute lie", Musharraf said he gave Sharif a detailed presentation on the Kargil situation just two days before the former left for the US.

He said that Sharif repeatedly enquired about whether the troops could be withdrawn from Kargil, to which he claimed to have replied that it had to be decided by the country's leadership.

"I said I have informed you about the military situation but the withdrawal of forces is a political decision which has to be taken by the political leadership," said Musharraf. (ANI)

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