Dilip Kumar helped resolve Kargil crisis?
The Kumar anecdote is among many on India-Pakistan ties cited in 'Neither A Hawk Nor A Dove' by Pakistan's former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. It was revealed by the author ahead of its release in India on Wednesday.
Born in Pakistan before the Partition, Kumar courts tremendous popularity in the country and is also the recepient of Nishan-e-Pakistan, country's highest civilian honour in 1998.
"Then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave the phone to Dilip Kumar when he was talking to his Pakistani counterpart," Kasuri told a leading news channel citing an aide of Sharif as confiding with him.
"The prime minister did not believe it was his hero on the phone," said Kasuri.
“Kumar urged Sharif to help defuse the crisis quickly as that would be the right thing to do in the interests of the people on both sides,” said Kasuri.
In a separtae interview Kasuri has claimed that a US delegation led by former US presidential candidate John McCain had met him in the aftermath of 26/11 terror attacks expressing apprehensions that India may carry out surgical air strikes at the headquarters of terror outfits JuD and LeT near Lahore.
He quoted McCain as saying, "We have come from India where there is a lot of anger. Supposing there is limited strike on Muridke, the headquarters of JuD'."
According to Kasuri, he told McCain that the Pakistani army will give a "measured" response in case of a strike inside its territory.
Kasuri claimed he told them to ask the Pentagon to talk to Pakistani Army headquarters directly.
"They (the delegation) said we are asking you because you are a civilian and will know what will be the public response. I said public response will be so grave that Pakistan army will be delegitimising in the eyes of its own people if it does not respond," he said.