Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday India stood by its current “no first use policy” on nuclear weapons but its stance may see a shift in the future.
Rajnath Singh tweeted his remarks during his visit to Rajasthan’s Pokhran, which is the site of two nuclear tests by India in 1974 and 1998. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was at the helm of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government when the second round of test was held.
“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,” the defence minister tweeted.
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)
16 August 2019
The defence minister paid respects to Vajpayee on his first death anniversary. Vajpayee died last year on August 16 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after a prolonged illness. He was 93.
“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,” he said in another tweet.
Rajnath Singh’s comments have come amid tension with Pakistan, which has attacked India over its move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.
They also came on a day the United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold a rare meeting on Kashmir after India stripped the region of its autonomy, sparking a row with Pakistan. It will take place behind closed doors on Friday morning, the diplomats said.
Aug 16, 2019 14:15 IST