NEW DELHI: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made a big admission on Tuesday, when he said that former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was justified in thinking that Pakistan had ‘backstabbed’ him over the Kargil War.

“Vajpayee told me that he was stabbed in the back because of Pakistan's misadventure in Kargil, especially during the process of Lahore Declaration. Vajpayee was right. I would have said the same thing - he was certainly backstabbed (in Kargil)," Sharif said while addressing a rally in Muzaffarabad, across the Line of Control.

India and Pakistan were at the time engaged in a peace process, with the signing of the Lahore Declaration in February 1999 when Vajpayee visited Pakistan.

"But, who do I complain to about that now. We [India and Pakistan] pray to the same God," Sharif said.

Sharif highlighted similarities between the two countries, saying "People of India and Pakistan are alike, except for the border in between. We both cherish Aloo Gosht delicacy.”

Sharif’s recent speech comes as a top Pakistani official, Tariq Fatemi who special assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on foreign affairs, said that Pakistan was ready to develop its bilateral ties with India. Speaking to Chinese state media, Fatemi said, “The PM’s policies regarding India are very well known. There is nothing hidden about it. He publicly says he wants good relations with India and this has been his belief for many years. Every time he has come to power, he reaches out to the Indian leadership. He tries to initiate a dialogue process with India.”

He added: “The important thing is that if there is even the slightest hint of an interest in cooperative relations coming out of India, we are ready to respond. “We are also hoping that very soon the meeting at the level of the foreign sectaries will also take place (and) that will mean the beginning of formal dialogue. Neither country can afford a relationship of tension and hostility.”

The statements come as relations between India and Pakistan improve, with the surprise stopover of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lahore and Pakistan’s cooperation on the Pathankot terror attack, following with Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar was placed under “protective custody.”

The improvement in relations comes on the back of simmering tensions, as India and Pakistan exchanged fire along the LoC and the cancellation of high-level talks at various points along with heavily charged political rhetoric added to the tensions.