Pakistan’s former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf has revealed that he had contemplated launching a nuclear strike against India following the tensions because of 2001 terror attack on Indian Parliament. However, Musharraf stopped from doing so. Reason: Musharraf feared a retaliation from India, PTI reported him as saying to Japanese media.
The former Pakistani dictator also recalled that he had many sleepless nights, asking himself whether he would or could deploy nuclear weapons, he told Japanese daily ‘Mainichi Shimbun’. The former Pakistan president disclosed that amid tensions between India and Pakistan following the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament, he had contemplated using nuclear weapons, but decided against doing so out of fear of retaliation.
When tensions were high in 2001, there was a “danger when (the) nuclear threshold could have been crossed,” the paper quoted Musharraf as saying. At the time, Musharraf had publicly said he would not rule out the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Musharraf also said, however, that at the time, neither India nor Pakistan had nuclear warheads on their missiles, so it would have taken one to two days to make them launch-ready.
When asked whether he had ordered that missiles be equipped with nuclear warheads and put into firing position, Musharraf said, “We didn’t do that and we don’t think India also did that, thank God” — pointing, perhaps, to a fear of retaliation, the paper reported. Both neighbours subsequently avoided an all-out clash and tensions ended slowly.
The then army chief Musharraf had ousted the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a coup in October 1999. The army general served as Pakistan President from 2001 to 2008. Musharraf has been living in Dubai since last year when he was allowed to leave Pakistan on the pretext of medical treatment. He is an accused in the murder of the former two-time Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.