'Nawaz Sharif believed Pakistan army would get him for Kargil war truce with India'

Ahmad contended that the intervention of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, then the Saudi Ambassador to the US, led to the meeting between Sharif and Clinton on July 4, a "sacrosanct" holiday for Americans. Prince Bandar also received Sharif when he arrived at Andrews Airbase on July 3.

"Bringing President Clinton to the table to bail Pakistan out of the imbroglio on that day was not, therefore, business as usual. It was made possible in the face of the real and immediate danger of an all-out war. Saudi intervention on Nawaz Sharif's SOS call made this possible," Ahmad wrote.

"And the man who could work this miracle was Prince Bandar Bin Sultan," he wrote.

Ahmad further contended that Musharraf's claim that Sharif had approved "Operation Badr" in Kargil "is not true".

Sharif was briefed about the Kargil operation for the first time around mid-May 1999, when a "lot had already happened".

"It was evident at that time that Gen Musharraf's unauthorised, illogical and non-strategic adventurism had pushed the situation to the precipice and a full-fledged war between two nuclear rivals was imminent," he wrote.

Ahmad wrote that Sharif's mission to Washington got a boost from Prince Bandar, an "inveterate networker" and "ultimate Washington insider who could walk into the White House whenever he wished".

"He (Prince Bandar) once asked former interim Prime Minister Moeen Qureshi: 'I don't understand why Pakistan is always afraid of Indian chicken'," he wrote.

Prince Bandar also made China deliver intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles to Saudi Arabia despite strong opposition from the CIA and the US Department of State.

The negotiation of the agreement on the Kargil conflict did not go smoothly and at one point, then National Security Adviser Sandy Berger "sounded frustrated, unhappy to be in a firefight for an ally that apparently deserved no sympathy for being on the wrong side of global public opinion".

... contd.

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