Washington. In February 2019, Pakistan was so enraged by the Indian Army’s surgical strike in Balakot that it was preparing for a nuclear attack on India. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made this claim in his new book quoting his then Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. He has claimed that Sushma Swaraj had told him that Pakistan was preparing for a nuclear attack in the wake of the Balakot surgical strike and India was also preparing its retaliation.
In his new book Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, which hit the market on Tuesday, Mike Pompeo said the incident happened when he was in Hanoi for the February 27-28 US-North Korea summit. He and his team worked through the night with both India and Pakistan to defuse the crisis.
‘India-Pakistan had reached close to nuclear war’
Pompeo writes in his book, ‘I don’t think the world knows exactly how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to a nuclear attack in February 2019. The truth is that I do not even know the exact answer, all I know is that it was very close.
Indian warplanes destroyed a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in February 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
Pompeo said – I will never forget that night
Pompeo said, ‘I will never forget that night when I was in Hanoi, Vietnam. As if holding talks with the North Koreans on nuclear weapons was not enough, India and Pakistan started threatening each other in relation to the decades-long dispute over the Kashmir region on the northern border.
He wrote, ‘Woke up to talk with my Indian counterpart in Hanoi. He believed that the Pakistanis had started preparing their nuclear weapons for the attack. He informed me that India is considering its retaliatory action. I asked them not to do anything and give us some time to fix everything.
FIRST PUBLISHED : January 25, 2023, 05:18 IST