Everything You Need to Know About Lahore Declaration of 1999 Amid Trump's Kashmir Mediation Claim
On February 21, 1999, then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration at the conclusion of a historic summit in Lahore.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump. (PTI)
US President Donald Trump in his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 22, 2019, claimed that he had been asked by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to play the role of mediator on Kashmir.
India was quick to respond to Trump's statement with the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar taking to Twitter denying that PM Modi said any such thing to Trump. The tweet clarified the position that has been sacrosanct for India in all matters with Pakistan.
“It has been India’s consistent position that all outstanding issues with Pakistan are discussed only bilaterally”, @MEAIndia said in the late-night two-part tweet.
The framework for bilateral resolution of problems between India and Pakistan was written into the Simla Agreement of 1972 and was reiterated in the Lahore Declaration of 1999.
Here's all you need to know about the Lahore Declaration of 1999:
On February 21, 1999, then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration at the conclusion of a historic summit in Lahore. The declaration was a bilateral agreement and governance treaty and was ratified by the parliaments of both the neighbouring countries the same year itself.
Under the terms of the declaration, New Delhi and Islamabad reached a mutual understanding of sharing a vision of peace and stability between both the countries and progress and prosperity of their countrymen.
The declaration also agreed that the respective governments of both the countries shall intensify their efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
It also agreed that both the countries shall refrain from intervention and interference in each other's internal affairs.
Not only this, in the Lahore declaration of 1999, both India and Pakistan reaffirmed their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and their determination to combat this menace. It also mentioned that both the countries shall promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The declaration also stated that New Delhi and Islamabad shall intensify their composite and integrated dialogue process for an early and positive outcome of the agreed bilateral agenda.
Under the terms of the treaty, New Delhi and Islamabad had reached a mutual understanding towards the development of atomic arsenals and to avoid accidental and unauthorised operational use of nuclear weapons. The Lahore Declaration also brought added responsibility to the leaders of both countries to avoid nuclear race, as well as both non-conventional and conventional conflicts.
It mentioned that both the countries shall take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorised use of nuclear weapons and discuss concepts and doctrines with a view to elaborating measures for confidence building in the nuclear and conventional fields, aimed at prevention of conflict.
In the Lahore declaration of 1999, India and Pakistan reaffirmed their commitment to the goals and objectives of SAARC and to concert their efforts towards the realisation of the SAARC vision for the year 2000 and beyond with a view to promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development.
Though Lahore Declaration was widely popular in the public circles in Pakistan and was welcomed by the international community, the relations between India and Pakistan turned sour with the outbreak of the Kargil war in May 1999.
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