India may see a major shift in its nuclear weapons doctrine by doing away with a ‘no first use policy’ in the future, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said. “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘No First Use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances,” media reports said quoting the minister who was at an event in Pokhran, the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998.
The comments come in the midst of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the Indian government revoked Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had condemned the move. In February this year, India had called Pakistan’s nuclear bluff by conducting an aerial raid on a terrorist training camp in Pakistan after the 14 February Pulwama suicide attack.
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.”