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India and Pakistan Came “Close” to Nuclear War

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India and Pakistan Came close to Nuclear War

(CTN News) – In his new biography, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims that in February 2019, India and Pakistan were “near” to a “nuclear war.”

Following an assault on Indian forces in Kashmir, Delhi unleashed airstrikes on terrorists in Pakistani territory.

At that time, Pakistan claimed to have downed two Indian military aircraft and kidnapped a fighter pilot.

Kashmir is a region that India and Pakistan claim as their own yet only partially govern.

Pakistan disputes India’s long-standing accusation of supporting terrorist separatists in the Kashmir valley.

Three conflicts have been fought between the nuclear-armed neighbors since their 1947 independence from Great Britain division. Only one wasn’t over Kashmir.

According to Mr. Pompeo in Never Give An Inch: Fighting for America I Love, “I don’t believe the world fully appreciates exactly how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to erupting into a nuclear inferno in February 2019.”

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The author states, “The reality is, I don’t know the exact answer either; I only know it was too close.”

Speaking at a meeting in Hanoi, Mr. Pompeo claims he will “never forget the night” when “India and Pakistan began threatening each other in connection with the decades-long conflict over the northern border area of Kashmir.”

In response to the assault on Indian forces that claimed the lives of over 40 soldiers, which Mr. Pompeo described as “an Islamist terrorist act…

Probably made possible partly by Pakistan’s inadequate counterterrorism policy,” India launched airstrikes within Pakistan. In the following combat, “the Pakistanis shot down a jet and imprisoned the Indian pilot.”

Mr. Pompeo said he was woken in Hanoi to talk with an unidentified Indian “counterpart”.

He thought Pakistan had started preparing its nuclear arsenal for an attack. He told me that India was thinking about its escalation,” Mr. Pompeo adds.

I told him not to act and to allow us a moment to work things out.

The National Security Advisor at the time, John Bolton, and Mr. Pompeo started working together in the “small secure communications facility in our hotel,” according to Mr. Pompeo.

He claims to have spoken with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, then-chief of the Pakistani army, “with whom I had interacted many times,” and informed him what the “Indians had told me.”

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He said it was untrue. He assumed the Indians were getting ready to use their nuclear weapons, as one would anticipate.

It took us a few hours to persuade each side that the other was not preparing for nuclear war, thanks in large part to the extremely effective efforts of our staff in New Delhi and Islamabad.

No other country would have taken the actions we took that evening to avert a terrible catastrophe, argues Mr. Pompeo.

India and Pakistan have not yet responded to Mr. Pompeo’s assertions.

Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based organization, claimed responsibility for the 2019 assault on Indian troops, and India pledged to respond.

The first aircraft assaults by India over the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Indian and Pakistani territory have occurred since a conflict in 1971. Pakistan referred to India’s assertion as “reckless,” although India claimed to have killed several terrorists.

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Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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