Former Pakistani foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri has claimed that American politicians had asked him how the Pakistani military would respond if India carried out a limited air raid in Pakistan in retaliation to the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes.
Kasuri claimed that after the Mumbai attacks, a US delegation led by Senator John McCain had sought his views as a former foreign minister on how the Pakistani military would respond if India carried out a limited air raid on Muridke — home to the bases of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa.
“I told them (the Americans) if the Indians did that, the Pakistani military would give a measured response in five minutes… It could lead to a war. But they thought it could prevent it,” Kasuri told Karan Thapar in an interview on India Today channel. The former minister has detailed the meeting with the Americans in his recently released book — Neither a Hawk nor a Dove. He was Pakistan’s foreign minister during 2002-2007 under President Pervez Musharraf.
Kasuri said the Americans had met him after holding talks with the top Indian political and military leadership.
Asked how Pakistan would react if the NDA government under PM Narendra Modi planned a limited strike, Kasuri said, “All hell would break loose…”
He said backchannel talks between the two countries had made substantial progress when he was the foreign minister on intractable issues such as Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek and solutions were in sight. He said Musharraf had emerged as a statesman in the later years of his presidency.
He said Modi should appoint people he trusted for meaningful backchannel talks. Kasuri added that “men of goodwill” and political resolve was needed to resolve all outstanding issues.