During Kargil, Indians told Clinton they could wipe off Pak in a nuke war

Written by Press Trust of India | New York | Updated: Oct 1 2009, 05:01am hrs
In the event of an Indo-Pak nuclear war, India will emerge the ultimate winner after wiping off Pakistan, but lose up to 500 million of its own people, Pulitzer Prize-Winning author and historian Taylor Branch has claimed in his 700-page book The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President which hit the stores on Tuesday.

Branch claims Indian leaders had portrayed such a scenario during the 1999 Kargil conflict to then US President Bill Clinton who was ready to jump on a plane to prevent the conflicts escalation into a full-fledged nuclear war as Pakistan, fearing military defeat, had almost prepared itself to nuke India.

The portion on nuclear warfare appears in the chapter Eight Missiles in Baghdad in which the author claims that Clinton told him that New Delhi would nuke Pakistan, annihilating the entire country if anyone in Islamabad triggered nuclear bombs against it.

He called this the one region on the globe facing a serious threat of nuclear war between two nations, India and Pakistan. Their mutual enmity was historically constant, yet chillingly erratic, Branch writes. In private, he (Clinton) disclosed, Indian officials spoke of knowing roughly how many nuclear bombs the Pakistanis possessed, from which they calculated that a doomsday nuclear volley would kill 300 to 500 million Indians while annihilating all 120 million Pakistanis.

But on the other side, the Pakistanis insisted that their rugged mountain terrain would shield more survivors than the exposed plains of India.

They really talk that way, Clinton sighed. We have bad relations with both of them, he continued, Branch writes in his book.