Washington (Daily Pakistan Online) Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said in his new memoir that India and Pakistan came ‘close’ to a ‘nuclear confrontation’ in February 2019. This happened when Delhi tried to invade Pakistani territory after attacking Indian troops in Kashmir. Pakistan then said it had shot down two Indian military aircraft and captured a fighter pilot, Abhinandan.
According to the BBC, in his book “Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love”, Pompeo says that he does not understand that ‘the world knows exactly how far India and Pakistan will go before they reach a nuclear confrontation in February 2019. It came close. ‘Honestly, I don’t know the exact answer either, all I know is that it was very close.’
Pompeo says he will ‘never forget that night’, when he was in Hanoi for talks with North Korea on nuclear weapons when India and Pakistan clashed over the decades-long dispute over the northern border region of Kashmir. He started making threats. He said that after the Pulwama attack, India invaded Pakistani territory to which Pakistan responded and shot down an Indian plane in a dogfight and arrested its pilot.
Pompeo said he woke up to speak to an unnamed Indian ‘counterpart’ in Hanoi. He writes, ‘He believed that the Pakistanis had begun preparing their nuclear arsenal for attack. He told me that India itself was considering a move. I asked him not to do anything and to give us some time to sort things out.’
Mike Pompeo writes that he began working with then-U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, who was with him in a small secure communications facility at the hotel. He says he contacted Pakistan’s then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, with whom he had worked many times, and told him what the Indians had told him. On this, General Bajwa said that this is not true, Bajwa believed that India was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment.
According to Mike Pompeo, it took him a few hours to manage the situation at that time, during which the US teams in Delhi and Islamabad assured both sides that the other country did not intend to launch nuclear weapons. He said that no country in the world could have done what we did that night.