A day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s hinted that India’s “no first use” for nuclear weapons may not be etched in stone, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi criticised as “irresponsible” and “unfortunate” the former’s remarks, news agency PTI reported.
On Friday, Singh had said that India has always adhered to its “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons but “what happens in the future will depend on circumstances”. His remarks on nuclear weapons came after he visited Pokhran where India carried out the nuclear tests in 1998 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.
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.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) August 16, 2019
“The substance and timing of Indian defence minister is highly unfortunate and shows India irresponsible and belligerent behaviour,” Qureshi said. “Pakistan will continue to maintain minimum credible deterrence,” he said. The statement of Indian defence ministers showed his “folly”, he added.
The Pakistan Foreign Minister’s remarks came amidst tensions between India and Pakistan after New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Yesterday, the UN Security Council took up the issue of Kashmir in closed-door informal consultations. While Pakistan has claimed it as a big success, India sent out a strong message saying “stop terror to start talks”.
The meeting on Kashmir by the Security Council ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ. Most of the members stressed that the issue is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad. Explained | India’s doctrine of Nuclear No First Use
Qureshi also said the UNSC meeting showed that the people of Kashmir were not alone. On whether he would like to have any conversation with his counterpart S Jaishankar, he rejected the idea.
(With inputs from PTI)