Major Breakthrough On Kashmir During My Premiership: Sharif

23 February 2009

Lahore: Opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif today claimed that there was a major breakthrough to resolve the Kashmir issue with India during his premiership but the gains were 'turned upside down' by the subsequent military regime of Pervez Musharraf. Sharif made the claim during a meeting with an Indian peace delegation led by veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt at his residence at Raiwind in Lahore. He did not give details of the breakthrough on the vexed Kashmir issue. The former premier also described the signing of the Lahore Declaration during then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bjihari Vajpayee's visit to Pakistan in 1999 as a 'great achievement'. He said everything was later 'turned upside down' by a dictator. Sharif said extremist elements had gained strength during the era of former president Pervez Musharraf, who came to power by deposing a PML-N government in a military coup. Sharif also said an independent judiciary could have helped decrease extremism. The PML-N chief's brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, was also present during the meeting with the Indian delegation, which arrived in Pakistan yesterday.