Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that New Delhi may see a major shift in its policy of using nuclear weapons. Rajnath has said India currently has a “no first use policy” on nuclear weapons but it may change in the future.
Speaking at an event in Pokhran on Friday, Indian Defence Minister stated: “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘No First Use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”
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.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 16, 2019
In a tweet, Rajnath Singh added, “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.”
— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2019
Singh was in Pokhran to pay respects to late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary. He added, “India attaining the status of a responsible nuclear nation became a matter of national pride for every citizen of this country. The nation will remain indebted to the greatness of Atal Ji.”
In 2016, just two years after PM Modi coming to power, then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made a similar statement and said that why does India need a “no first use policy” at all.
Parrikar had courted controversy with his statement when he said, “Why should I bind myself? I should say I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly. This is my (personal) thinking.”
Following the nuclear weapons test in 1998, India had declared a “no first use” nuclear policy.