Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa today said the IAF has the capability of locating and striking nuclear and other targets in Pakistan. The comments by the chief of the Indian Air Force came when asked at a news conference about global concerns over the safety of Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and whether IAF would be able to disarm Islamabad of its nuclear assets if necessary.
“We have a draft nuclear doctrine. It is answered in that — what happens when the enemy decides to use nuclear weapons on us. As far as IAF is concerned, it has the ability to locate, fix and strike and that is not only for tactical nuclear weapons but for other targets across the border (as well),” he said.
Dhanoa said the IAF has the capability to carry out “full spectrum” of offensive at a “short notice” to thwart any security challenge facing the country.
“The IAF is prepared to fight at short notice in full synergy with other two sister services should the need arises. IAF has the capability of sustaining operational preparedness for a prolonged period,” he said, referring to overall threat perception facing the country.
Last month, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had said his country has developed short-range nuclear weapons to counter the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine of the Indian Army. Cold Start doctrine’ was developed by the Indian Army for a possible war with Pakistan. This doctrine involves various branches of the Army conducting offensive operations as part of unified battle groups.
There have been global concerns over the safety of nuclear weapons in Pakistan. In August, a senior Trump administration official said the US was worried that nuclear weapons and materials in Pakistan might land up in the hands of terrorist groups or individuals. The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of Pakistan is responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding the country’s nuclear arsenals.