Bollywood idol and recipient of Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (1998) Dilip Kumar, born as Yusuf Khan, (watch video below) had intervened with prime minister Nawaz Sharif to help diffuse the 1999 Kargil heights crisis, Pakistan’s former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmoud Kasuri said in an interview he gave to India’s NDTV on Tuesday.
He said that during a telephone conversation between Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Atal Behari Vajpayee in July 1999, when Nawaz Sharif put his guest Dilip Kumar on the phone – Vajpayee couldn’t believe what he heard. He told Dilip Kumar that later was his favorite film actor. He also asked Kumar to suggest Sharif to order Pakistan army to stop fighting and withdraw from its gains at the Kargil heights.
Kargil operation was brainchild of the Pakistan’s COAS Gen. Pervez Musharraf later Pakistan’s fourth military dictator. Under the plan, Pakistani soldiers infiltrated into positions on the India side of Line of Control (LoC). The infiltration, which managed to cut-off Indian supply lines, which took New Delhi in surprise.
Under pressure from the US and other western powers, Nawaz Sharif, ordered Gen Musharraf to withdraw from Indian side of LoC positions. Gen. Musharraf never forgave Sharif for buckling under political pressure. When Nawaz Sharif ordered Karachi airport authorities not to land military plane bringing Gen. Musharraf from a trip abroad, four pro-Musharraf Corps Commanders brought a military coup against Nawaz Sharif government a declared Martial Law in October 1999. In May 2015, addressing a public meeting in Karachi, Musharraf said: Pakistan got India at throat at Kargil.
Kasuri is in India to launch his book, Neither a Hawk Nor a Dove, in which he narrates Pakistan-India foreign policy and the western actors behind it. Kasuri was invited to India by BJP theologian Sudheenra Kulkarni. Hindutva Shiv Sena asked Kulkarni to cancel the event. When he refused to oblige, a dozen of Shiv Sena hooligans pulled him out of his car and sprayed black paint of his face.
Kulkarni took Kasuri to Shiva Sena leader Udhav Thackeray son of late Bal Thackeray who admired Hitler. Udhav ordered his thugs to back-off. The book launching event was held on Monday as scheduled. At the event Kasuri said: “It’s our duty to undo the mistakes of the past.” Read more here.