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An objective view is emerging in Pakistan: MEA on Nawaz Sharif’s admission on Lahore declaration violation

an objective view is emerging in pakistan  mea on nawaz sharif’s admission on lahore declaration violation
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New Delhi, May 30: In response to former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent statements on the Lahore Declaration, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal at a weekly press briefing in New Delhi commented, “You are aware of our position on the issue. We note that there is an objective view emerging in Pakistan as well.”


Nawaz Sharif acknowledged that Pakistan had violated the Lahore Agreement, which he and then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee signed in 1999. Sharif indirectly referred to General Pervez Musharraf’s Kargil incursion as his country’s “fault.”


During a meeting with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) general council, Sharif stated, “On May 28, 1998, Pakistan conducted five nuclear tests. Following that, [then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee Saheb visited Pakistan and we made an agreement. However, we violated that agreement... it was our fault.”


The Lahore Declaration, signed on February 21, 1999, was a crucial step towards improving the strained relations between India and Pakistan. The agreement emerged from a summit in Lahore, aiming to foster peace and cooperation. However, a few months later, Pakistani forces’ intrusion into the Kargil area of Jammu and Kashmir and Now in Ladakh Union Territory led to the Kargil War, undermining the spirit of the declaration.


The Lahore Declaration was a significant bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan, signed on February 21, 1999. The agreement was the result of a summit in Lahore, attended by then-Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and then-Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This declaration marked a pivotal step towards improving the often tense and hostile relations between the two neighbouring countries, both of which are nuclear-armed.


Key Objectives of the Lahore Declaration:


Promoting Peace and Security: The primary aim of the Lahore Declaration was to reduce the risk of conflict and foster a climate of peace and security. Both countries committed to refraining from the use of force and from violating each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.


Nuclear Risk Reduction:

Given that both India and Pakistan had conducted nuclear tests in 1998, a crucial aspect of the declaration was the emphasis on nuclear risk reduction. The agreement included measures to prevent accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.

Confidence-Building Measures:

The declaration proposed several confidence-building measures (CBMs) to enhance mutual trust. These included advance notification of military exercises, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and the promotion of friendly exchanges in various fields, such as culture and sports.

Addressing Disputes Peacefully:

Both nations agreed to resolve their differences through peaceful means, including dialogue and negotiations. This commitment aimed to address longstanding issues without resorting to violence.

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties:

The declaration emphasized the importance of enhancing diplomatic interactions. This included regular meetings between foreign ministers, the establishment of communication links to manage crises, and the revival of the composite dialogue process covering various bilateral issues.

The Lahore Declaration then represented a hopeful moment in the history of Indo-Pak relations, symbolizing a mutual desire for peace and cooperation. However, its positive impact was short-lived. Just a few months after its signing, the Kargil War erupted, following Pakistani forces’ intrusion into the Kargil. This conflict severely undermined the spirit of the Lahore Declaration, causing a significant setback to the peace process.

Despite the subsequent hostilities, the Lahore Declaration remains a reference point for future diplomatic efforts aimed at fostering peace and stability in the region. It highlighted the potential for dialogue and mutual understanding, even between nations with a history of deep-seated animosities.