India, Pakistan came close to a nuclear war in 2019: Pompeo

The former US Secretary of State says in his book that Washington’s timely intervention prevented the escalation.

India and Pakistan came close to a nuclear war in 2019 and Washington’s intervention prevented an escalation, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in his new memoir.

This happened in February 2019 when New Delhi set a precedent by launching airstrikes inside Pakistani territory, blaming an armed group there for a suicide bombing that killed 41 Indian paramilitary personnel in the flashpoint Kashmir region were. In response to the attack, Islamabad shot down an Indian warplane, capturing the pilot.

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“I don’t think the world knows exactly how the India-Pakistan rivalry escalated into a nuclear explosion in February 2019,” Pompeo claimed in Never Give An Inch. As a diplomat and the first CIA chief.


Pompeo, who is in Hanoi, Vietnam for the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he woke up to talk to his then Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

He believed that the Pakistanis had begun preparing their nuclear weapons for the attack. He informed me that India is considering its own growth, Pompeo wrote.

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“I asked him not to do anything and to give me a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo said he immediately began working with then-National Security Advisor John Bolton, who was also in Hanoi, and had spoken to “Pakistan’s de facto leader”, then-Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

“As one might expect, they believed that the Indians were preparing their nuclear weapons for deployment. It took us a few hours – and significantly more time by our teams on the ground in New Delhi and Islamabad Good job – to convince each side that the other was not preparing for nuclear war,” he said.

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“No other country could have done what we did to avoid a terrible outcome that night,” Pompeo wrote.

Pakistan and India are two of the few countries with nuclear weapons.

In 1974, India became the first country in the region to acquire nuclear weapons, which encouraged Islamabad to follow suit. In the 1980s, when it was an ally of the US in the first Afghan war against the collapse of the Soviet Union, Pakistan quietly developed its nuclear capability.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India currently has between 80 and 100 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan has between 90 and 110.

Meanwhile, several international think tanks estimate that Islamabad’s nuclear stockpile will exceed 200 nuclear weapons within the next five years.

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