Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On the Edge of Nuclear War

A new book suggests that the Pakistan Army prepared an atomic warhead for launch against India in the 1999 Kargil Crisis -- and that Pakistan's leader wasn't told.

Then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif only found out about his military's plans when President Clinton told him of the development in a July 4, 1999, conversation -- in the midst of the conflict.

The revelation comes in Pakistani author Husain Haqqani's new book Pakistan Between Mosque And Military.

President Clinton reportedly reminded Prime Minister Sharif about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis then asked him if he realized what would happen if just one bomb was dropped. The book says the Prime Minister cut President Clinton off in mid-sentences saying it would be "a catastrophe."

Both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. The flight time by missile to each other's capitals has been estimated to be as little as ten minutes. (The Hindu)

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