Rajnath on ‘no first use’ nuclear policy: ‘What happens in future depends on circumstances’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/future-of-nuclear-policy-depends-on-circumstances-rajnath-singh-in-pokhran-5910105/

Rajnath on ‘no first use’ nuclear policy: ‘What happens in future depends on circumstances’

Paying tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary in Pokhran, Singh said, "Till today, our nuclear policy has been 'No First Use', till date. What happens in future depends on the circumstances."

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday said that while India’s nuclear policy has been based on ‘No First Use’ principle, the future of the policy depends on the circumstances.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Friday stated while India’s nuclear policy has always been based on ‘no first use’ doctrine, which has been the hallmark of the country’s nuclear weapons programme, the future of the policy will depend on the circumstances.

“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,” said Singh, who was in Pokhran to offer tributes to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary.

In 1998, India carried out its second nuclear tests when Vajpayee was the prime minister. Following the test, Vajpayee had convened a press conference to declare India a full-fledged nuclear state.

“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 a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Singh attended the concluding ceremony of the fifth International Army Scouts Masters Competition in Jaisalmer.

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Pokhran in Rajasthan has been the site of two nuclear tests by India, the first one in 1974 under the Indira Gandhi government and the second one in 1998 when Vajpayee-led BJP was in power.

Spell out nuclear policy clearly: Cong to govt

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party and the entire country will stand behind the government on the country’s nuclear policy, but it needs to be spelt out clearly. Singhvi said, “If by this somewhat ambiguous statement, the defence minister either intends to keep us guessing or seeks to announce a change in policy, then the country would be happy to know what the new policy is. Not in ambiguous half phrases, but in a full one paragraph declared policy. This is a very serious issue and it cannot be communicated in ambiguity. There is a need for clarity on this and I urge the government to come out clearly.”