Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar observed that Pakistan has stopped threatening India of Nuclear Attack after surgical strikes conducted by Indian Army in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar opens pandora’s box by his statement on the use of Nuclear weapons, “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… nuclear concept… 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.”
However, he clarifies that India’s nuclear policy has not changed. And this is his personal opinion that the policy should remain unpredictable as was the case in surgical strike.
Though it may be his personal opinion but it coincidentally correlates with the election manifesto of the BJP released for General Elections 2014. The manifesto reads,“Independent Strategic Nuclear Programme” “Revise and update India’s nuclear doctrine”, “Maintain a credible nuclear deterrent”.
However, the no first use policy was also devised by BJP led NDA Government when India conducted its nuclear tests in 1998. Within weeks Pakistan also conducted its own nuclear tests.
Off late, the credible nuclear deterrence has been eroded as Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s defence minister Khwaja Asif would threaten India on every second day.
Currently Pakistan is understood to have possessed more nuclear weapons than India. But it is an irresponsible state. The safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons has been compromised due to radical elements present in its forces guarding the nukes. On the contrary, India never threatened Pakistan with nuclear attack while maintaining the highest standards of nuclear safety. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement has come at a time when India and Japan are about to sign a civil nuclear dear and Japan insisting on nullification or termination clause.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.