The former military ruler of Pakistan, General (retd.)Pervez Musharraf, on Wednesday said he was “proud” of the Kargil operation and blamed the political class for squandering away a military victory.

At a press conference in Karachi — his first since returning from self-imposed exile on Sunday — he asserted that “a military victory was turned into a political defeat.”

Gen. Musharraf’s defence of the Kargil operation drew flak instantly from within Pakistan and elsewhere on the social media. At the same time, some Pakistanis sought to drive home the point that Indians held the former Army chief in greater esteem that his own fellow nationals.

The kind of media coverage his return got in India, and the frequency with which he appears on Indian television channels and gets invited to conclaves organised by the media across the border has raised eyebrows here often enough, particularly since Pakistani peace activists and players have been shown the door in India.