In an interview with CNN-IBN on May 07, 2013, President of PML-N Mian Nawaz Sharif, who sworn in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on June 05, 2013, pledged to form a commission on Kargil to bring out ‘full truth’. “The commission’s report will be made public and Indian government would also be informed,” he said. [Video Link of interview] [Dawn]
Kargil conflict took place between India and Pakistan during May to July 1999 along with the Line of Control in the Kargil district of Kashmir. It resulted in hundreds of casualties on both sides, retreat of Pakistani troops and also deterioration of diplomatic ties between both countries, especially in the wake of the Lahore Declaration between then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the same year.
Sharif accused military Chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf of keeping him and army in dark regarding the operation. However, Musharraf claimed that the PM was briefed and it was due to the politicians that military faced embarrassment in Kargil. This crisis also created differences between Sharif and Musharraf that resulted in a military coup, ouster and subsequent exile of Sharif. Kargil precipitated the conflict between Pakistan’s elected government and armed forces which culminated in the demise of the democratic constitution in Pakistan.
International community spotted movement of nuclear weapons by Pakistan army during this time period.
Retired Lt. Gen. Ziauddin Butt, whom Nawaz Sharif unsuccessfully tried to install as army chief in place of Musharraf in October 1999 , told Truth Tracker that he expected to be a part of the envisaged commission on Kargil but it would be premature to say when it was going to be established. “I have no idea of what the Terms of Reference of the commission will be but the nation will certainly benefit from the outcome,” he said.
While talking to Truth Tracker, Central Secretary Information PML-N, Mushahid Ullah Khan confirmed that PML-N leadership had not discussed Kargil Commission since assuming power. “Currently, our top priorities are energy, economy, and law and order. We do not intend to divert our energies towards other issues,” he said.
The CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and (now) Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali also demanded the formation of a commission to probe the Kargil operation in February 2013.
The 2006 Charter of Democracy between PPP and PML-N is also a part of latter’s manifesto. The clause 13 (b) of the charter says, “A commission shall also examine and identify the causes of and fix responsibility and make recommendations in the light thereof or incidences such as Kargil.”
As the government is tangled with issues like economic crisis and power shortage, it is unlikely for any commission to be formed in near future. Since no particular date has been announced regarding the formation of commission, Truth Tracker will be waiting for a few months to see whether they fulfill their promise or not. Truth Tracker will keep an eye on the PML-N government to form a commission in near future. A commission that does not have a balanced list of appointees is not likely to uncover the “full truth,” which would lead to a broken promise. The commission must also share its report with public and India as well in order to be considered fulfilled, and not compromised or broken.
Political analyst Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi does not see any commission on Kargil in near future. He said that PM Sharif had got more serious economic problems to deal with, especially the power crisis. “Currently, civil-military cooperation is required. Army will be unhappy if a commission is formed,” Rizvi said. He said that nothing would come out of the commission.
Information Secretary of Jamat-e-Islami, Amirul Azeem said that without resolving core issues like Kashmir and Siachen Pakistan could not move ahead with India in any direction. “Truth should be told at all levels regarding all the civil and military blunders even bigger than Kargil,” he added. Azeem said that Pakistan should have good relations with all the neighbors, however they should be based on equality.
Jamatud Dawa spokesman Yahya Mujahid rejected the idea of sharing the commission report with India. “Jamatud Dawa along with Difa-e-Pakistan will protest if the report will be shared with India. Even if it spreads anarchy in the society, it should also not be made public,” he said.