India And Pakistan Almost Went To War Over A Prank Phone Call
India and Pakistan have fought four wars, not to mention fostered the fiercest rivalry in international cricket history. It's fair to say that they don't get along at the best of times, but in November 2008, the situation was particularly tense. Terrorists operating out of Pakistan had just laid siege to Mumbai. In the midst of the crisis, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari took a phone call from Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had a simple message: If Pakistan didn't sort out its jihad problem right goddamned then, they were going to war.
India's army is much stronger than their neighbor's, meaning that if things escalated to all-out war, Pakistan's options were (a) lose badly, or (b) aim its nukes at the invaders, then blindly mash buttons and hope for the best, like your cousin playing Street Fighter II. Pakistan's air force went to high alert. Fighter jets patrolled the skies, loaded with live ammo and ready for a fight. Meanwhile, President Zardari worked the phones, desperate to find an ally who could throw cold water on India's war-boner.
Finally he got hold of Condoleezza Rice, who agreed it would be best if Southern Asia wasn't reduced to a Bollywood-inspired Mad Max sequel. She called Mukherjee in the middle of the night to politely ask why he was threatening to attack his neighbor, and then rang Zardari back to report that India had no idea what the hell he was talking about. It turns out an unknown maniac had inserted themselves into the diplomatic crisis via prank call, pretending to be Mukherjee, and tried to start a war. Transcripts of the discussions that followed are unavailable, but we assume the phrase "Are you fucking shitting me?" features heavily.