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India committed to No First Use nuke policy, but ‘future depends on circumstances’: Rajnath

Rajnath Singh’s comment comes on a day UNSC is holding closed-door meeting on the Kashmir issue.

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said India is committed to the “No First Use” policy when it comes to nuclear weapons, but what happens in the future depends on circumstances.

Singh’s comment comes amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan over the revocation of Article 370 that gave special status to Kashmir.

Friday, the United Nations Security Council is also holding a closed-door meeting based on a letter written by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the Kashmir issue.

“Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances,” Singh tweeted.

A similar statement made in 2016 by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had led to questions being raised on whether India was changing its stated policy of No First Use.

“I wonder why we say that we don’t use nuclear weapons first. It doesn’t mean that India has to use nukes, but why rule out?” Parrikar had said.

Following an uproar, the Ministry of Defence issued a statement after Parrikar’s remark, saying it was his personal opinion and not the official position.

The policy

The No First Use policy was adopted soon after India tested nuclear weapons in May 1998, a decision taken by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The policy, the cornerstone of India’s nuclear doctrine, has been adopted by just India and China among all the nuclear powers in the world.

Pakistan has been criticised for loose talk on nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said during his election campaign that the Balakot strike had called Pakistan’s bluff.

“India has stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan’s threats. Every other day they used to say ‘we have nuclear button, we have nuclear button’. What do we have then? Have we kept it for Diwali?”

At another rally, Modi said “Pakistan and its supporters have been threatening us for long with its nuclear capability but the IAF called its bluff with its strikes.”

Also read: What Imran Khan’s Trump meet shows – being a nuclear-armed state with terrorists pays


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  1. The no first use policy is meaningless. It cannot prevent first use. The mutually assured destruction fear is the only valid policy but in extreme circumstances, it may not hold. That goes without saying.

  2. I saw this news in other media and they were mis-reporting as if India is planning to change its nuclear first use policy from tomorrow. Here I see exactly what Rajnath Singh said.

    • That is very common. The global media is filled with very dishonest lefties like Shivam Vij, Rajdeep Sardesai, BBC, NYT clowns and commenter “ashok” here.

  3. President Trump formulates foreign policy on Twitter. That is not necessarily a model for other wise, mature, responsible personages to emulate. 2. No First Use may be regarded as virtuous in that it, by implication, commits a nation to not using nuclear weapons against a non nuclear weapons state. The US pointedly does not subscribe to NFU but no one seriously expects it to use nukes against a non nuclear weapons state. 3. So NFU really boils down to which cowboy will fire his six shooter first. In the ensuing exchange of fire, both will be Dead. India’s – or China’s – NFU doctrine is an assertion of sanity that contributes to stability. That calm has been disturbed by Pakistan’s deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, most likely in response to Cold Start. If anything, there is a need for India and Pakistan to talk on this limited point, remove a potentially unsettling factor out of the already tetchy relationship. 4. Too much macho talk nowadays. Feeding into an ugly, jingoistic mood. It could end badly.

  4. Please ask your govt first use some proactive action to control economic slow down. We don’t need to waste Nuke to tame Pak. Just ask Advaniji how to gather crowd which demolished BM within few hours, the same crowd is more than enough to Pak its place.

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