Pakistan was going to deploy nuclear missiles during Kargil conflict, claims former US official

During the 1999 Kargil conflict, Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment, the CIA had warned then President Bill Clinton, a former top White House official said on Wednesday.

hidden December 03, 2015 13:48:33 IST
Pakistan was going to deploy nuclear missiles during Kargil conflict, claims former US official

Washington: At the height of the 1999 Kargil conflict when its army was suffering heavy casualties at the hands of India, Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use, the CIA had warned then President Bill Clinton, a former top White House official said on Wednesday.

The CIA's assessment formed part of the daily top secret classified briefing for Clinton on 4 July, 1999, when the president was scheduled to meet the visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Facing global humiliation and the prospect of an imminent defeat because of the misadventure of his army chief General Pervez Musharraf, Sharif had rushed to Washington seeking Clinton's help in ending the conflict.

Pakistan was going to deploy nuclear missiles during Kargil conflict claims former US official

US President Bill Clinton (right) greets Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (L) at Blair House in Washington, D.C. on 4 July 1999. AFP

"The morning of the Fourth (of July, 1999), the CIA wrote in its top-secret Daily Brief that Pakistan was preparing its nuclear weapons for deployment and possible use. The intelligence was very compelling. The mood in the Oval Office was grim," Bruce Riedel, who worked at the time in the National Security Council of the White House and was among the few present at the Clinton-Sharif meeting said.

Riedel, a former CIA analyst and now working at the Brookings Institution made the revelations in an obituary he wrote for Sandy Berger, former national security advisor to Clinton, who died of cancer on Wednesday.

"Berger urged Clinton to hear out Sharif, but to be firm. Pakistan started this crisis and it must end it without any compensation. The president needed to make clear to the prime minister that only a Pakistani withdrawal could avert further escalation," he wrote.

"Sandy knew Clinton better than anyone, his natural inclination was to find a deal. This time, no deal was possible, it must be an unequivocal Pakistani climbdown," Riedel said.

"It worked. Sharif agreed to pull back his troops. It later cost him his job: The army ousted him in a coup and he spent a decade in exile in Saudi Arabia. But the risk of a nuclear exchange in South Asia was averted," Riedel wrote.

PTI

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

England vs Pakistan: Shoaib Malik set to link up with visitors' team on 15 August ahead of three-T20I series
First Cricket News

England vs Pakistan: Shoaib Malik set to link up with visitors' team on 15 August ahead of three-T20I series

The PCB had allowed Malik permission to join the squad in England late as he wanted to spend time with his family in UAE.

Eleven members of Hindu migrant family from Pakistan found dead in Rajasthan's Jodhpur
India

Eleven members of Hindu migrant family from Pakistan found dead in Rajasthan's Jodhpur

A senior police official said that the cause of death was yet to be ascertained but all eleven appeared to have died by suicide after consuming some chemical

England vs Pakistan: Hosts' coach Chris Silverwood has 'no problem' in touring Pakistan
First Cricket News

England vs Pakistan: Hosts' coach Chris Silverwood has 'no problem' in touring Pakistan

England have avoided touring Pakistan since 2005-06 citing security concerns but of late the England and Wales Cricket Board has expressed hope of visiting the country in two years’ time.