- No-first-use of nuclear weapons should not be stated: Defence Minister
- Defence Minister stresses this is personal opinion
- No change in government stand, says Defence Minister Parrikar
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." He underscored that his remarks should not be seen as a sign that the government has changed its nuclear doctrine. "Some of them (news channels) tomorrow may flash nuclear doctrine has changed, but it has not.
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."
India has been arguing its case to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a 48-country bloc that controls the trade and transfer of sophisticated nuclear technology and material. China has led a group of nations that have blocked India's membership, arguing that it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the main global arms control covenant.
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