ISLAMABAD: Retired lieutenant general Shahid Aziz has stated in a book that a treason case, registered against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif by the Pervez Musharraf regime in the wake of the imposition of the October 1999 military coup was a pre-planned move of then government.
He also leveled grave charges against Musharraf under whom he worked for years. He was part of his team that imposed martial law in 1999, overthrowing the Sharif government.
Musharraf retaliated and dubbed Aziz as a man of low character, who is not trustworthy.
Aziz said those who carried out coup against waited for him to replace Lt Gen Tauqeer Zia as Director General Military Operations (DGMO) because they knew he (Zia) will not do it. He said he was part of the coup because he then thought that politicians were destroying Pakistan. But he wrote that Pakistan was worst off today than it was in 1999.
He said the Supreme Court granted Musharraf three years’ rule after his claim that he will change the system and has no desire to rule.
In retrospective, Aziz said it is right that he was made DGMO only to facilitate the coup. He said he is against mutiny in the army, but it is a lie that they are fighting the anti-terror war for Pakistan.
Being a senior officer in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officer in 1998, he said he was kept in the dark about Kargil operation, which was a failure of intelligence. During the Kargil conflict, Aziz was posted at the ISI analysis wing.
He said the army should have powers, but they misuse them when it is involved in politics. He said the only cure to ills of democracy lies in its continuity.
He said he was not part of the briefings to the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on the Kargil operation, but Musharraf was confident that its complete picture has been presented to the Sharif.
Aziz said Musharraf thought Indian Army will run away from Siachen after the Kargil operation, and Pakistan will have an opportunity to press on the Kashmir cause internationally, but the operation actually damaged the very cause.
He said he doesn’t regret the army takeover. In those days, army officers were being gifted “bangles” and there was a perception that Sharif is sucking the blood of the nation. He said the same sort of situation has arisen today.