Pakistan has taken exception to Indian defence minister’s statement on the use of nuclear weapons, saying the “substance and timing of the statement was highly unfortunate and reflective of India’s irresponsible and belligerent behaviour”.
Rajnath Singh had on Friday said that New Delhi may see a major shift in its nuclear weapons doctrine by doing away with the ‘no first use’ policy in the future. ‘No first use’ is a pledge to not use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an opposition using its nuclear arms.
“Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘no first use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances,” the Indian defence minister had said while addressing a gathering in Pokhran, the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998.
In a subsequent tweet, Singh had added:
“It further exposes the pretense of their no first use policy, to which we have never accorded any credence,” Pakistan Foreign Office said while reacting to the Indian defence minister’s statement.
“No first use pledge is non-verifiable and cannot be taken at face value, especially when the development of offensive capabilities and force postures belie such claims,” the statement read and added that Pakistan always proposed measures relating to nuclear restraint in South Asia.
“Pakistan will continue to maintain a credible minimum deterrence posture.”