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June 28, 1999
PM's 'alarming letter' sparked Zinni's trip
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's threat to launch an attack on Pakistan if its forces in Kargil were not withdrawn immediately had forced Washington to 'turn up the pressure on Pakistan', according to The Washington Post.
US President Bill Clinton initiated the G-8's pro-India stand and the parleys of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gibson Lanpher and Marine General Anthony Zinni with Pakistani officials - urging them to withdraw their forces from the Indian side of the Line of Control - in the wake of Vajpayee's 'alarming letter', according to the newspaper.
The letter was delivered to Clinton while he was making a speech to the International Labour Organisation in Geneva earlier this month. His national security adviser Samuel R 'Sandy' Berger 'slipped out to receive' the letter.
''What happens next will depend on Zinni's assessment of Pakistan's response,'' the newspaper said quoting a senior official, ''noting that impoverished Pakistan cannot afford full-scale war and is counting on receiving a $100 million loan next month from the International Monetary Fund.'' Washington could hold up those funds to pressure Pakistan.
"We're not making any predictions," a senior administration official said. "It could get worse, if the Indians reach the level of frustration that they need strike somewhere else."
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