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India-Pak were never close to nuclear war, says Jaswant

Last updated on: August 28, 2009 22:11 IST
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In an interview with Pakistani website Dawn News, on Thursday Jaswant Singh refuted the belief that Pakistan and India came close to nuclear war during a military showdown in 2002.

Singh said he  did not believe in nuclear apartheid and both India and Pakistan had the sovereign right to pursue their nuclear ambitions. Singh said the impression that Pakistan and India were at the brink of nuclear war was a 'canard' spread by the US ambassador at that time. 

Singh said that the 'destiny of India, Nehru spoke of, had not been realised', while repeating the claim that Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and the Indian National Congress had in fact contributed to partition.

Singh said he felt 'wounded' as if an 'innocent child had been burnt' when he learnt that hi book had been banned and burnt.
Singh said that General Musharraf's 'grandstanding' at the 2001 Agra conference has put off his collegues in the government and scuttled the agreement. 

Singh said both Mohammad Ali Jinnah's and Gandhi ji dreamt of a federal India, but 'we let the country be cut up. Patel and Nehru agreed to what Jinnah demanded but in a truncated form. Today we would have been a global power'.
Singh said he did not regret the role in the release of militants from Indian jails in exchange for the safety of passengers aboard Indian Airlines Flight 814 in Kandahar.

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