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WASHINGTON: Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo wrote in a book published Tuesday that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention prevented escalation.

“I do not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019,” the likely future presidential contender wrote in “Never Give an Inch,” his memoir of his time as Donald Trump’s top diplomat and earlier CIA chief.

India in February 2019 broke precedent by launching airstrikes inside Pakistani territory after blaming a militant group there for a suicide bombing that killed 41 Indian paramilitary soldiers in the flashpoint Kashmir region. Pakistan shot down an Indian warplane, capturing the pilot.

US says dialogue between India, Pakistan 'a matter for those two countries'

Pompeo, who was in Hanoi for a summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he was woken up with an urgent call from a senior Indian official. “He believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, he informed me, was contemplating its own escalation,” Pompeo wrote. “I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo said. Pompeo said that US diplomats convinced both India and Pakistan that neither was preparing to go nuclear.

“No other nation could have done what we did that night to avoid a horrible outcome,” Pompeo wrote.

Pompeo, who wrote that Pakistan “probably enabled” the Kashmir attack, said he spoke to “the actual leader of Pakistan,” then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in an allusion to the weakness of civilian governments.

Comments

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Hujjathullah M.H.Babu Sahib Jan 25, 2023 11:26am
Pompeo's "literary confessions" reflects the general irony of US principles on handling military rule in its friendly aboards. If his dealings with Gen. Bajwa was all that key to averting a nuclear flashpoint, then why do U.S. administrations routinely scandelize all martial rule in foreign states and treat military rulers as political pariahs ? How was Gen. Bajwa allowed to break the duck here? Whatever "Never give an Inch" may state, Pompeo's word's must be taken like a six-inches at a Subway franchies with adequate salt !
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HashBrown® Jan 26, 2023 12:30am
Sure, Mike...it had nothing to do with us shooting down their aircraft and generously handing their one surviving pilot back to them - it was actually all down to Team Trump. Whatever you say, sweetheart.
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