Sunday May 29, 2022

India going back on ‘no-first-use nuke’ stance

November 11, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Departing from its 18-years old position, India doesn’t stand by anymore it’s pronounced ‘Nuclear Doctrine’ of “No-First-Use Nuke.” Indian Defence Minister has said on Thursday that India should not "bind" itself to a no-first-use nuclear policy.

The statement has come a day before the meeting of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Vienna today (Friday) to consider the application of Pakistan and India for their membership. It is unlikely that either of the country would be able to get the membership in the meeting.

The statement that depicts New Delhi’s nervousness and unpredictability has appeared in the midst of India’s worst tension with Pakistan in over a decade. Later a spokesperson of Indian Defence Ministry said that the minister's remarks must be taken as "his personal opinion and not his official position."

Highly placed sources in the Foreign Office here later in the evening declined to offer comment officially but reminded that the comments are of a frightened country that is simultaneously confused and bully. Indian media has reported that India follows the principle that it would not be first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

Pakistan does not abide by this. Stating that there is often talk of India's no-first-use commitment, the Defence Minister said, "If a written down strategy exists or you take a stand really on a nuclear aspect, I think you are actually giving away your strength in nuclear, a lot of people say India has a no-first-use nuclear policy, but why should I bind myself? I should say I'm a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly. This is my thinking."

The no-first-use commitment was made after India conducted a series of nuclear tests in 1998. Pakistan responded within weeks by conducting tests of its own. In its election manifesto in 2014, the BJP had said it would review India's nuclear stand and "revise and update it, to make it relevant to challenges of current times."

Parrikar said that he used to "get threat(s) from Defence Minister of neighbouring country every 4-5 days that they are going to use tactical nuclear weapons if they are threatened. The day surgical strikes happened, no threat has come again."

India has been claiming that it carried out so-called surgical strikes late in September, days after attack on army camp in Uri in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) leaving 20 soldiers dead. Pakistan has been emphatically denying and castigating Indian claims about such ridiculous strike. India has been arguing its case to enter the NSG, a 48-country bloc that controls the trade and transfer of sophisticated nuclear technology and material.

Pakistan has also formally made request or the membership of the prestigious group. China has led a group of nations that have blocked India's membership, arguing that it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control covenant.