Islamabad: Former Pakistan prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had rejected the then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger’s warning to ‘disband’ Islamabad’s nuclear programme, Deputy chief of the US mission in Pakistan, Gerald Feuerstein, has said.
In an interview with a private television channel, Feuerstein, who was witness to the meeting between Bhutto and Kissinger in 1976, said the top American diplomat had raised concerns over Bhutto’s plans to match India’s nuclear capabilities.
“Yes, it’s true that Bhutto rejected the warning and Pakistan continued with its nuclear programme. I was the protocol officer when Kissinger came to Pakistan in August 1976 and met Bhutto in Lahore,” Feuerstein said.
Describing Bhutto as Pakistan’s most gifted politician, he said: “The US president had sent three mercy pleas to General Zia-ul-Haq to save Bhutto.”
Responding to a question, Feuerstein also disclosed that former US president Bill Clinton had intervened when ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced under General Pervez Musharraf’s regime.
“Yes, president Clinton intervened,” The Daily Times quoted Feuerstein, as saying.