Former United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed on Tuesday in his new memoir that arch rivals— India and Pakistan— were on the verge of nuclear war in February 2019.
Pompeo, who served in President Donald Trump’s tenure, has written in ‘Never Give an Inch: Fighting for America I Love’ that he does “not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019.”
He says at the time, he was informed by his Indian counter-partner that Pakistan had begun to prepare for a nuclear strike on India. However, he asked him to give it some time to sort out the matter. Later, he reached out to Pakistani former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The ex-army chief told Pompeo that Indian allegations were baseless. He believed the Indians were preparing their nuclear weapons for deployment.
Moreover, the former US official said that it took them a few hours and remarkably good work by their teams on the ground in New Delhi and Islamabad to convince both countries to desist.
In February 2019, Delhi launched strikes to attack Pakistan after a militant attack on Indian troops in Kashmir. However, Pakistan shot down two Indian military jets and captured a fighter pilot who later was released.
In 1974, India became the first country in the region to become a nuclear power while Pakistan attained nuclear power in 1998.
It is pertinent to mention that neither India nor Pakistan has commented so far on Pompeo’s claims.
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