Musharraf blames Indian foreign official for Agra breakdown

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW DELHI - Days after New Delhi denied a visa to him, former Pakistani military rule Pervez Musharraf has blamed an Indian official for failure of the 2001 Agra peace summit between the countries.

Musharraf said the summit was going on smoothly till then joint secretary in charge of Pakistan division Vivek Katju intervened.

“There was someone from the (Indian) foreign ministry sitting there named Katju. He may still be there, he created a lot of hurdles,” said the former military dictator who ruled Pakistan 1999 to 2008.

He was speaking to Hindi TV channel News 24 in an interview done in Dubai two days after India denied him a visa to attend a conference in New Delhi on Saturday.

Katju is now secretary (West) in the ministry of external affairs.

The latest from Musharraf is in contradiction to his earlier claims about the failure of his meeting with then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Agra. In his book “In the Line of Fire”, Musharraf claims that someone “above” him and Vajpayee had scuttled the talks and humiliated Pakistanis.

The former Pakistani army chief, also blamed for the Kargil military conflict, is living in exile in Britain and is currently in Dubai.

In the past few months, Musharraf has been accusing India of fomenting trouble in Balochistan.

Vajpayee and Musharraf met in Agra July 15 and 16, 2001 to resolve long-standing issues between India and Pakistan. But the summit collapsed as the two sides couldn’t arrive at any agreement, despite five one-to-one rounds between the two leaders and hours of discussion between the two delegations.

Musharraf also revealed that Al Qaeda terror network chief Osama bin Laden was suffering from diabetes and was on dialysis and “I cannot be sure if he alive”.

“The dialysis report was from ISI and I don’t know he may have died in the mountains,” he said.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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