Many things of the Kargil war of 1999 are coming out one by one. During that time, the then Prime Minister of the country Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif talked several times over the telephone. At that time, the Indian PM had admitted that Pakistan PM Sharif had no control over his army, but General Pervez Musharraf had all the strength.
This is revealed by former bureaucrat Shakti Sinha in his recent book. Let me tell you that Sinha continued to work as Vajpayee’s personal secretary for many years. Even during the Kargil conflict, he was in an important position in the Prime Minister’s Office and was closely monitoring the action.
In his book- “Vajpayee: The Years that Changed India”, Sinha talks about it in detail. They say that the situation had become such that Vajpayee did not take any time to guess that Musharraf had a hand in the Pakistani attack. Army Chief Musharraf made the conditions of war with India, bypassing the then PM Sharif of Pakistan.
The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were talked on the telephone several times – indicative photo (firstpost)
Coming on December 25 on Vajpayee’s 96th birthday, this book looks full of sensational revelations. Writer Shakti Sinha has claimed that within a month and a half during the Kargil war, Vajpayee spoke to Sharif over the telephone about 4 to 5 times. This is in itself unusual given the Indo-Pak relationship. But Vajpayee’s motive behind this conversation was to understand the situation. According to Sinha, there is a story behind the phone conversation.
The Hindu has quoted some parts of the book quoting it. It was told that in the course of very strained relations with Pakistan, the then PM Vajpayee also chose the path of back channel diplomacy. This is the term under which two countries resolve a stressful issue in a different way than open diplomacy. An officer named RK Mishra was then selected for this diplomacy. These officers were former Chiefs of the Observer Research Foundation and were adept at understanding the sensitivity of foreign affairs and keeping them as they are. Mishra told Vajpayee many things, only after which he decided to talk to Sharif and continue with him.
Coming on December 25 on Vajpayee’s 96th birthday, this book looks full of sensational revelations (news18 creative)
Actually Mishra himself was constantly in touch with Sharif. He found during the conversation that Sharif was very weak even while he was in the post of PM. Even he suspected that there was tapping at his house and no conversation could be held in secret. That is why upon meeting Mishra for talks, Sharif invited him to talk in the garden instead of talking inside the house.
Mishra told this incident to Vajpayee and it did not take long for him to understand that instead of Sharif, the power had gone into the hands of the army chief, Musharraf and that Sharif has now only been a slave of circumstances. PM Secretary Sinha has mentioned this in detail in his book.
In the book, he writes- Vajpayee must have spoken to Sharif 4 to 5 times in a period of one and a half months from mid-May to 4 July, at which time the PM of Pakistan had publicly announced to US President Clinton that Pakistan will withdraw its troops from the Line of Control on its side.
Pakistan Army was behind the Pakistani attack on LoC – symbolic photo
Sinha has written many things about the talks between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. Like, a phone conversation between the two took place in mid-June, when Vajpayee was in Srinagar. Sinha writes in the book- After reaching Srinagar, Vajpayee told me to call Nawaz Sharif. My small team and I tried but we could not call. But then a local officer said that calls to Pakistan from Jammu and Srinagar were banned. Then the officials of the Department of Telecommunications were asked to restore this facility for some time so that the two Prime Ministers could talk.
Apart from the back-channel diplomacy, Vajpayee also adopted many other methods, which led the Pak troops to withdraw from Kargil. Intelligence agency RAW also had a big hand in this. The book describes how RAW recorded secret conversations between two army officers and this was used to create international pressure on Pakistan.
Sinha’s book mentions an incident in which the then Chief of Raw, Arvind Dave reached Vajpayee with a telephonic recording. In this, Pakistan Army Chief Pervez Musharraf and Chief of General Staff of Pakistan should be taken. There was a conversation of Mohammad Aziz, after hearing that there was no doubt that the Pakistan Army was behind the Pakistani attack on LoC. Please tell that the Pakistan Army denied its role in the attack and said that the Mujahids have a hand in it. The recording was later revealed in the media. At the same time it was also sent to Sharif. After this conversation came to the media, Pakistan’s army and its chief were greatly insulted.