I was being interviewed in the BBC head office in London when someone mentioned the coup. I was scheduled to take the flight home that same evening, but all the airports were sealed off by the armed forces and my flight was cancelled. The very next day I got on a plane, landed in Lahore and was taken into custody by armed forces personnel.

The military takeover on October 12th was not at all surprising to me as the then military top-brass was determined to topple Mian Nawaz Sharif for fear of action against them after Kargil’s misadventure.

It was all Kargil. Kargil was the reason behind the military coup. You see, the fallout of the poorly planned operation was disastrous. The troops fighting on the front line were not provided with adequate food and ammunition supplies and finally General Musharraf approached Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to manage the ceasefire.

It was an ugly episode that ended in humiliation and massive losses to the armed forces. Of course, there were strong voices within the government and other powerful quarters who demanded action against those responsible. Therefore, from this fear, a conspiracy was hatched— a conspiracy that finally unfolded into reality on October 12, 1999.