Kargil Coup: Pakistan Under Nawaz Sharif 1997-1999
This book covers the tumultuous second term of Nawaz Sharif that was cut short by the October Coup in 1999 which installed General Pervez Musharraf in power.
It tells the inside story of how Sharif stripped President Farooq Leghari of his powers under Article 58-2B of the constitution, how he conspired with a clutch of Supreme Court judges to oust the Chief Justice, Sajjad Ali Shah, how he launched his “victimization” drive to put political oppositionists into prison, and then made a bid to become Amir ul Momineen standing above parliament.
The momentous decision for "tit-for-tat" atomic tests was taken despite American pressure to desist, followed by a freezing of all foreign currency accounts and a round of sanctions by the international community.
Undeterred, Sharif launched his "bus diplomacy" initiative to build fences with the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vagpayee, even as the military establishment was opposed to it and secretly planning the Kargil adventure. The end-game came in the autumn of 1999 after Sharif’s dash to Washington to persuade President Bill Clinton to negotiate an extraction of Pakistan’s military forces from Kargil, following which “humiliation” he determined to sack General Musharraf for the debacle. The “hijacking” of General Musharraf’s plane from the air culminated in a counter coup that brought the military back into the saddle for another decade.
This is a breathless account of, and unique commentary on, those three fateful years that set the fitful ten year democratic revival in the 1990s back for a full decade.