Nawaz shakes hands with Army general linked to the 1999 coup
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shook hands with General (retd) Muhammad Aziz Khan, who played a key role in the 1999 coup that ousted his elected government and sent him to jail.
Gen Khan, a key player behind the coup that brought then Army Chief Gen Pervez Musharraf into power, was especially invited by Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the desert of Khairpur Tamewali, Bahawalpur, to attend the culmination ceremony of "Azm-e-Nau 4" military exercises, The News daily reported today.
Sharif accompanying Gen Kayani entered the enclosure to witness the exercise yesterday and saw Gen Aziz on his left hand side of the seat along Gen (retd) Abdul Waheed Kakar, former Chief of the Army Staff who was sitting next to the Prime Minister`s seat on the same side.
Sharif initially ignored to go towards the two retired generals as Kakar also had a role in ousting him along with the then president Ishaq Khan in 1993. However, Gen Kayani informed the Sharif of the guests sitting on the left hand side.
Then Prime Minister went straight to ex-COAS Kakar and shook hands with him warmly and inquired about his health.
Then prime minister with an expressionless face loosely gave his hand to Gen (R) M Aziz Khan who was waiting for him, the report said.
Sharif did not utter a word to him and then returned to the right hand side of his seat and shook hands with other guests and later sat down along with Gen Kayani to witness the exercise.
After the exercise Gen Aziz went straight to the place where lunch for guests was arranged. Here, too, his seat was allotted at the same table which was shared by Sharif and Kayani.
Besides them Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, PM`s Adviser on National Security Sartaj Aziz, Corps Commander Multan Lt Gen Abid Pervez, ex-Vice Chief of Army Staff Gen M Yousaf were also sitting on the same table.
Sharif was sent to jail after a bloodless military coup in which four generals had played a key role.
They were Gen (R) Muhammad Aziz Khan, Gen (R) Mehmood Ahmad, Gen (R) Shahid Aziz and Lt Gen (R) Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai and their leader was Musharraf.
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