Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed that the then Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told him that Pakistan was planning a nuclear strike after the Balakot surgical strike in February 2019. According to Pompeo, Sushma Swaraj has said that in view of this, India is also preparing for an aggressive response.
In his new book ‘Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love’, launched on Tuesday, Pompeo said the incident took place when he was on a 27-28 February visit. He was in Hanoi for the US-North Korea summit. After that, his team worked overnight with India and Pakistan to avert this crisis. The former US Secretary of State said, “I don’t think the world knows how close India-Pakistan tensions came to a nuclear attack in February 2019.”
The former US diplomat writes in the book, “I don’t think the world knows exactly how close the India-Pakistan rivalry came to a nuclear strike in February 2019. The truth is, I don’t even know the exact answer. All I know is that it was very close.”
However, at present no comment has been made by the Ministry of External Affairs on Pompeo’s claims. Let us inform you that in response to the Pulwama terror attack, the Indian Army attacked and destroyed the terrorist training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Pakistan in February 2019. After that, a Pakistani Air Force (PAF) F-16 plane shot down a MiG-21 Bison in an aerial dogfight and kept Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman hostage for 60 hours.
Pompeo said, “I was in Hanoi on February 27-28 for the summit to reduce tensions between the US and North Korea. Then I came to know about the whole thing in the night and my entire team worked for the whole night to convince India and Pakistan.” Pompeo wrote, “I will never forget that night in Hanoi city in Vietnam. Talking to the North Koreans about nuclear weapons was not enough. In such a situation, India and Pakistan started threatening each other in the decades-old dispute over Kashmir. Pompeo said, “I had to work very hard to convince Sushma Swaraj to do nothing for the time being and give America some time to resolve the whole dispute.”