Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fake call puts nuclear Pakistan on highest alert

A hoax phone call to the President of Pakistan led the nuclear-armed nation to put its air force on highest alert. On late Friday evening, November 28, on the heels of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, senior members of President Asif Ali Zardari's staff bypassed standard call verification procedures and transferred to Mr. Zardari a caller claiming to be Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The caller directly threatened to take military action if Pakistan failed to immediately act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.

Following the call, signals were sent out about how the situation could rapidly spiral out of control. A top Pakistan security officials advised the media that it might shift tens of thousands of troops from its western border with Afghanistan to its eastern frontier with India.

See, "A hoax call that could have triggered war," Dawn, December 6, 2008, at .

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