Former US President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, has claimed in his just-published memoir that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention has prevented escalation.
Here are the five key points Mike Pompeo made in his new book:
Mr Pompeo claimed that he was awakened sometime in 2019 to talk to his then Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, who told him that Pakistan was preparing for a nuclear attack in the wake of the Balakot surgical strike and that India had its own response prepared.
“I don’t think the world is quite aware of how close the rivalry between India and Pakistan was to a nuclear conflagration in February 2019. The truth is that I don’t exactly know the answer either; I just know it was too close. wrote Mr. Pompeo.
The former US official said he spoke to Ms Swaraj who “believed that the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for an attack. India, he told me, was considering its own escalation”. “I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out… No other country could have done what we did that night to avoid a terrible outcome,” he wrote .
Pompeo said Pakistan “probably enabled” the attack on security forces in Pulwama that triggered the Balakot attack, said he spoke to “Pakistan’s de facto leader”, then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in an allusion to the weakness of the civilian population. governments.
Commenting critically on Sushma Swaraj, Mr. Pompeo wrote: “On the Indian side, my original counterpart was not a key player in the Indian foreign policy team. Instead, I worked much more closely with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, a close and trusted confidante. of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
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