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India and Pakistan came close to a ‘nuclear war’: Former US Secretary of State

Picture Courtesy: Reuters

Former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has said in his new memoir that India and Pakistan came close to a ‘nuclear war’ in 2019. This happened when Delhi launched a strike against militants in Pakistan in response to attack on Indian troops in Kashmir. India and Pakistan claim all of Kashmir, but control only parts of it.

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of backing separatist militants in the Kashmir valley, however, Pakistan denies it. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars since independence from Britain and partition in 1947. All but one were over Kashmir.

In his memoir Mile Pompeo wrote that he does "not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019”. He continued saying that “the truth is, I don't know precisely the answer either; I just know it was too close,”

He said that he was in Hanoi for a submit when "India and Pakistan started threatening each other in connection with the decades-long dispute over the northern border region of Kashmir”.

He said that he spoke to his “Indian counterpart”. He said, "He believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, he informed me, was contemplating its own escalation”. The 2019 attack on Indian soldiers was claimed by a group based in Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and India had vowed to retaliate.

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