- Title: India says committed to 'no first use' of nuclear weapons for now
- Date: 16th August 2019
- Summary: A GARLANDED PICTURE OF VAJPAYEE
- Embargoed: 30th August 2019 15:26
- Keywords: India Jammu and Kashmir Pakistan nuclear power Pokhran Atal Bihari Vajpayee
- Location: POKHRAN, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
- City: POKHRAN, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA003ASGXAOF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THE EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
India has stuck to its commitment of 'no first use' of nuclear weapons but future policy will depend on the situation, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday (August 16), which analysts said introduced a level of ambiguity in a core national security doctrine.
India declared itself a nuclear weapons power after conducting underground tests in 1998 and long-time rival Pakistan responded with its own tests shortly afterwards. Since then, nuclear experts say the rivals have been developing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
In a visit to Pokhran in western India, the site of the nuclear tests, Rajnath paid tribute to late former prime minister and revered leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Atal Behari Vajpayee, for making India into a nuclear power.
"As far as our nuclear policy is concerned, our policy has always been of "no first use". However, what happens in the future, depends on the circumstances," Rajnath said.
At the time of the tests, India said it needed a deterrent against nuclear-armed China but it has also long been concerned about Pakistan's nuclear capabilities.
Tensions between the two nuclear powered rival nations have increased following India's move to revoke autonomy in the disputed region of Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars. In February, Indian and Pakistani fighter jets clashed over the territory.
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