Paper Says India And Pakistan
Were At Brink Of Nuclear War
The full dimensions of the recent crisis between India and Pakistan over Kashmir are only now coming to light, the WASHINGTON POST is set to report on Monday.
According to publishing sources, the paper is set to quote senior Clinton administration officials: the latest conflict over Kashmir came much closer to full-scale war than was publicly acknowledged at the time and raised very real fears that one or both countries would resort to using variants of the nuclear devices each tested last year.
The POST'S John Lancaster quotes a senior administration official close to the action: "This is one of the most dangerous situations on the face of the earth... It was very, very easy to imagine how this crisis... could have escalated out of control, including in a way that could have brought in nuclear weapons, without either party consciously deciding that it wanted to go to nuclear war."
The tension piqued two months ago as Pakistani and Indian forces intensified their fighting over the province of Kashmir -- which both sides claim as their own.
"India, it seemed, was preparing to invade its neighbor."
According to the paper, "President Clinton helped avert that prospect during his widely reported Independence Day meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who agreed after hours of tense discussions to withdraw the forces that had triggered the flare-up in early May."
Even U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott left the Hamptons vacation scene to stop the potential annihilation.