US, S Arabia saved Nawaz from hanging: Inderfurth
* US failed to eliminate Bin Laden during Clinton’s tenure due to lack of intelligence
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: The US administration made several attempts to stop Pakistan from conducting nuclear tests in response to India in May 1998, former US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs Prof Karl Inderfurth said on Saturday.
He told Daily Times Editor-in-Chief Najam Sethi on Dunya News that then premier Nawaz Sharif had informed then US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott that it would be very difficult for him not to conduct nuclear tests.
“We persuaded them to hold off on conducting the nuclear tests and offered to remove sanctions and provide economic assistance after approval from the Congress,” said Inderfurth.
“We could not get a clear response over the nuclear tests at the time but the body language indicated that Pakistan would conduct nuclear tests in response to Indian tests,” he said, adding, “I think massive domestic pressure was behind the 1998 nuclear tests.”
He said the US and Saudi Arabia had jointly saved Nawaz from hanging, as they (Saudis) had more influence in Pakistan than any other country. “Saudis are working behind the scenes and have a very active role in the region,” he said.
Intelligence gap: Inderfurth said the US failed to successfully eliminate Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan during former president Bill Clinton’s tenure due to lack of intelligence. (Daily Times)