Kargil remark: BJP poohpoohs claim of 'banished dictator'

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New Delhi, Mar 28: Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf's latest remark on the Kargil war has drawn much flak from politicians in India. Parties on different sides of the political spectrum today hit out at the 69-year-old who recently ended a prolonged self-exile.

Addressing newspersons in Karachi on Wednesday, Musharraf averred that he is "proud of the Kargil operation". Reacting to this, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy described the May 1999 intrusion into Indian territory as an "act of mercenaries".

"It seems Musharraf admits that he was heading the mercenaries unit as the dictator of Pakistan. These are hollow claims by a banished dictator who suffered befitting defeat," the BJP leader noted.

When asked about Musharraf's return to Karachi earlier this week, Rudy replied that "his coming back is a dangerous symptom and a tacit support to the pro-Taliban elements in Pakistan."

Pervez Musharraf Kargil War

D Raja of the CPI pointed out that the former military ruler of Pakistan is looking to again make a mark in his country's politics. "Musharraf must realize no body can take pride for a war that too a military conflict between India and Pakistan. In fact, he must regret what happened in Kargil and how he takes pride or how he feels proud of Kargil operation, he has to explain," the CPI leader said.

"Now, we understand he is addressing his people. He wants to regain his last ground. He wants to reposition himself in Pakistani politics. So, he speaks all kinds of things, which really do not deserve anybody to consider," Raja stressed.

Samajwadi Party's Kamal Farooqi was of the opinion that Musharraf's remark would affect the India-Pakistan relationship. "He should be rather ashamed of it whatever he is saying because he is the one who created a kind of environment wherein the peaceful co-existence became very very difficult," Farooqi said.

Accordingto him, the NDA government was "very sincerely" attempting an rapprochement with the Nawaz Sharif regime in Pakistan at the time when war broke out between the two countries.

"But Kargil (happened) and thereafter Musharraf played spoilsport ... this has definitely affected the peaceful co-existence of the countries and definitely the bilateral relationship has also been affected in a big way," Farooqi rued.

Musharraf was the mastermind of the Pakistani Army's misadventure 14 years ago. His latest remark has confirmed the longstanding suspicion that Nawaz Sharif was not kept in the loop by the then army chief when Pakistani soldiers stealthily occupied some heights on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Indian soldiers recaptured the same by the end of Jun 1999 and forced the intruders to retreat to their border posts.

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