Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that his then-Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj had apprised him that Pakistan was gearing up for a nuclear attack in 2019, and that India is preparing its own escalatory response.
Pompeo made these remarks in his latest book ‘Never Give an Inch: Fighting for America I Love’ which hit the stores on Tuesday, January 24.
According to Pompeo, the incident occurred on February 27–28, 2019, while he was in Hanoi for the US–North Korea Summit, and his staff spent the night working with both New Delhi and Islamabad to defuse this crisis.
“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,” Pompeo wrote in his book.
Pompeo stated, “I will never forget the night I was in Hanoi, Vietnam when- as if negotiating with the North Koreans on nuclear weapons wasn’t enough- India and Pakistan started threatening each other in connection with a decades-long dispute over the northern border region of Kashmir”.
“In Hanoi, I was awakened to speak with my Indian counterpart. She (Sushma Swaraj) believed the Pakistanis had begun to prepare their nuclear weapons for a strike. India, she informed me, was contemplating its own escalation. I asked her to do nothing and give us a minute to sort things out,” Pompeo claimed in his book.