When India and Pakistan armies were fighting Kargil War in 1999, then the Bollywood Superstar Dilip Kumar had reportedly urged the Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif 'to help defuse the Kargil crisis'.
According to a book, 'Neither A Hawk Nor A Dove' by Pakistan's former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, after the Kargil conflict, the then Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee talked to Sharif and complained to him that while he was well-treated by Pakistan during his Lahore visit, Pak wasted no time in occupying Kargil. He also made Sharif talk to Indian actor Dilip Kumar.
Kasuri writes in his book, "According to Saeed, one day he was sitting with PM Sharif when the telephone bell rang and the ADC informed the PM that the Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee wished to speak with him urgently."
During their talks, Vajpayee expressed his grievances that he had been shabbily treated by Sharif after having been invited to Lahore.
Sharif looked surprised at the words of Vajpayee, who complained that while he had been received in Lahore with such warmth, Pakistan had wasted no time in occupying Kargil.
Sharif said he was not aware of what Vajpayee was saying to him and promised to get back to him after talking to Chief of the Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf.
Before the conversation could end, Vajpayee told Sharif that he would like him to speak to somebody who was sitting next to him during their conversation, Kasuri writes.
Sharif was astonished when heard the voice of Dilip Kumar (Yousuf Khan originally from Peshawar), who said, "Mian Sahib, we did not expect this from you since you have always claimed to be a great supporter of peace between Pakistan and India," Kasuri writes in the book.
“Let me tell you as an Indian Muslim that in a case of tension between Pakistan and India, Indian Muslims become very insecure and they find it difficult to even leave their homes. Please do something to control this situation,” Dilip, a recipient of Pakistan's highest civilian honour Nishan-e- Imtiaz, told Sharif.
Kasuri feels that he has made his point, "if even the great icon Dilip Kumar, as an Indian Muslim, felt insecure in a case of tensions between India and Pakistan", it would not be hard to imagine the difficulties faced by ordinary Muslims in periods of tension between the two countries.
The former foreign minister says that he has seen first-hand that it is possible to have a meaningful peace process between the two countries and how quickly such a process could change the paradigm of relations between them.
He concludes with his conviction that peace is possible between two countries and that it would have a very positive impact on the status of minorities in both the countries.
-With PTI inputs