Pakistani troops lacked weapons, food during Kargil war: Sharif

Islamabad (NVI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tonight said the troops of his country had faced shortage of food as well as weapons during the Kargil war of 1999, which was started by the then Pakistan Army Chief General Musharraf and his “few associates”.

Addressing a rally of 11 opposition parties in Quetta via video conference from London, the chief of Pakistan Muslim League (N) said his country was pushed into a war “where there could be no benefit” for the nation.

“Behind the Kargil operation were those very characters who wanted to avoid punishment and hence on October 12,1999, they staged a coup and imposed martial law (in Pakistan),” he said.

Sharif was referring to the coup in which his government was toppled by Gen Musharraf, who imprisoned the Prime Minister and imposed military rule in Pakistan.

Sharif was the Prime Minister during the three-month-long Kargil war with India in 1999 which started in May after Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and occupied mountain peaks in Drass and Kargil sectors of Ladakh.

“Pervez Musharraf and his few associates used the institution of army for vested interests and defamed it,” the former Prime Minister said.

“Pakistan was defamed by some Generals who had vested interests. They pushed the country into such a war where there could be no benefit,” he said.

“I felt very troubled when I came to know that our soldiers at far off mountain peaks pleaded that they should be provided with weapons, if not food. Those soldiers had no idea about real motives behind the war. They were forced into the war and lives were lost,” Sharif said and asked “What benefit did it bring to the country?”