Mike Pompeo, a former US secretary of state has claimed that following the airstrike on Balakot, India, and Pakistan were on the verge of a nuclear exchange in 2019. However, US intervention helped avert a nuclear exchange.
Mike revealed the information in his memoir Never Give an Inch which wrote about his time as Trump’s top diplomate and CIA director.
The former US diplomat claimed that he was awakened to talk to his then-Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, who informed him that Pakistan was getting ready for a nuclear attack after the air strike and that India was getting ready for its offensive military 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,” Pompeo said.
According to Pompeo, the incident occurred on February 27–28 while he was in Hanoi for the US–North Korea Summit, and his team spent the night working with both New Delhi and Islamabad to diffuse the situation.
“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,” he added.
Then, Pompeo claimed that he started working with Ambassador (then National Security Advisor John) Bolton, who was present alongside him in the resort’s teeny encrypted communications facility, and that he also spoke with General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the real leader of Pakistan.
Pompeo stated, “He believed the Indians were preparing their nuclear weapons for deployment. It took us a few hours – and remarkably good work by our teams on the ground in New Delhi and Islamabad – to convince each side that the other was not preparing for nuclear war.”
However, neither Pakistan nor India has accepted or refuted Pompeo’s claims.