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'Pak readied for nuke attack during Kargil'

June 20, 2005 18:46 IST

According to the Dawn, a new book has revealed that Pakistan's military had prepared a nuclear-tipped missile to fight back a possible Indian attack during the Kargil crisis.

According to the book, former US president Bill Clinton had conveyed this news to the then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif who was taken aback by the revelation.

At the July 4, 1999 meeting between Clinton and Sharif, the American President had asked the Pakistani leader if he knew how advanced the threat of nuclear war really was.

In the book Pakistan Between Mosque And Military by Pakistani author Husain Haqqani, Bruce Riedel, special assistant to Clinton, who was present at the meeting, is quoted as saying that 'the president reminded Sharif how close the US and Soviet Union had come to a nuclear conflict in 1962 over Cuba'.

"Did Sharif realise that if even one bomb was dropped -- Sharif finished his sentence and said it would be a catastrophe," said Haqqani's forthcoming book, to be published shortly in the US by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Riedel, a senior director of Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council in the Clinton era, said Sharif 'wanted desperately' to find a solution that would allow Pakistan to withdraw from Kargil 'with some cover'.

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