Benazir Govt issued N-ultimatum to India in 1989, claims book

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New Delhi, Dec 1 : Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government had privately issued a "nuclear ultimatum" to India during the reign of then Indian premier VP Singh to deter New Delhi from using excessive force to quell violence in Jammu and Kashmir, according to a book.

Professor Harish Kapur writes this in his latest book titled "Foreign Policies of India's Prime Ministers," the Daily Times reported.

"The Indian decision makers were getting concerned about the whole situation, particularly after Pakistan Foreign Minister Yaqub Khan came to Delhi for a SAARC meeting and privately gave a nuclear ultimatum to thenb External Affairs Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and apparently, did the same in his meeting with then Prime Minister VP Singh," the author claims.

India had offered to give Kashmiris anything short of self-determination provided Pakistan co-operated to stabilise the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989-90 at the onset of militancy, the book says.

Then Indian Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey had travelled to Islamabad and asked his Pakistani counterpart to help rein in militancy, and in return India would give the disputed region anything short of self-determination, it says.

"India was prepared to give the Kashmiris anything short of self-determination. But this was not acceptable to Pakistan," Kapur wrote.

Kapur, who is currently the Professor Emeritus at the Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, said "both of them confirmed this to the author in separate discussions".

As a militant movement built up in Kashmir, Bhutto "openly challenged" VP Singh through her rhetorical outbursts at rallies in Muzaffarabad.

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