Mike Pompeo said he worked closely with Ajit Doval, a close confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
New Delhi: Former US President Donald Trump’s top diplomat Mike Pompeo, in his just-published memoir, has claimed that India and Pakistan came close to nuclear war in 2019 and that US intervention prevented escalation.
Here are the top five points Mike Pompeo made his new book:
Mr Pompeo claimed he was awakened some time in 2019 to speak 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 India is preparing its own response.
“I do not think the world properly knows just how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to spilling over into a nuclear conflagration in February 2019. The truth is, I don’t know precisely the answer either; I just know it was too close,” Mr Pompeo wrote.
The former US official said he spoke to Ms Swaraj who “believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, he (sic) informed me, was contemplating its own escalation”. “I asked him to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out… No other nation could have done what we did that night to avoid a horrible outcome,” he wrote.
Mr Pompeo said Pakistan “probably enabled” the attack on security forces in Pulwama, which triggered the Balakot strike, said he spoke to “the actual leader of Pakistan,” then army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, in an allusion to the weakness of civilian governments.
In comments critical of Sushma Swaraj, Mr Pompeo wrote, “On the Indian side, my original counterpart was not an important player on the Indian foreign policy team. Instead, I worked much more closely with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, a close and trusted confidante of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
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