India’s nuclear doctrine shift irresponsible: Foreign Office

Published: April 6, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan warned on Thursday that India’s decision to change its nuclear doctrine would not help the cause of promoting strategic restraint and stability in the region, terming the move ‘highly irresponsible and dangerous.’

Recent reports suggested that India may be considering revisiting its no-first use policy and may allow its nuclear establishment to carry out pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Pakistan in the event of a war.

The New York Times recently reported that this would not formally change India’s nuclear doctrine, which bars it from launching a first strike, but would loosen its interpretation to deem pre-emptive strikes as defensive.

In first formal reaction to the development, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakria said Pakistan had long maintained that India’s ambiguous no-first use declaration was not verifiable and hence nothing more than an empty political statement.

“It cannot substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures,” Zakaria told a weekly news briefing when asked to comment on the possible change in India’s nuclear doctrine.

The spokesperson said in taking appropriate security measures, Pakistan had to consider capabilities and not intentions which could change anytime.

“It goes without saying that the talk about pre-emption in a nuclearised South Asia is highly irresponsible and dangerous and will not help the cause of promoting strategic restraint and stability in the region,” Zakria warned.

The reports of India’s reinterpretation of nuclear doctrine came at a time when tensions between the two neighbours have been simmering for months primarily due to the unrest in India occupied Kashmir.

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The worsening ties coupled with talk of change in India’s no-first use policy also prompted the Trump administration to offer a mediation between the two nuclear-armed neighbours before the situation could further deteriorate.

US Ambassador to United Nations Nikki Haley recently voiced concerns over the Indo-Pak tensions and said Washington wanted to play a role in de-escalation.

The move, however, was promptly rejected by India, which has long argued that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute and hence it will not accept any third party mediation.

Pakistan’s position is different though. The foreign office spokesperson said Pakistan always welcomed the offer of mediation, which had been made by various countries, to resolve the outstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India.

“The world’s concerns have been developed in the backdrop of the deteriorating human rights situation in IoK,” he added.

“We welcome the statement of Ambassador Nikki Haley, Permanent representative of the US to the UN expressing concerns over the rising tensions between Pakistan and India and the offer of mediation,” Zakria maintained.

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The spokesperson regretted that India as usual reacted negatively to the US offer.

“India wants to speak of terrorism! We also insist on speaking of terrorism, which forms one of the elements of the comprehensive dialogue process. We need to address the Indian sponsored terrorism in Pakistan. Kulbhushan Jadhav and many other examples are irrefutable proof of Indian involvement in Pakistan,” he argued.

He further said India tried to hide the atrocities in IOK and afraid of being exposed on account of crimes against humanity committed by the Indian Occupation Forces in IOK.

“India will eventually realise that the only solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is the realisation of the right to self-determination of Kashmiris through a fair and free plebiscite under the auspices of the UN in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions.”

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Syria chemical attack

Reacting to the reports of chemical attack in Syria that left scores of people dead including women and children, the spokesperson said, as party to Chemical Weapons Convention, Pakistan was against the use of such weapons under any circumstances.

“Definitely, use of chemical weapons on civilians is condemnable,” Zakria said.

However, the spokesperson avoided blaming the Syrian government or Russia, which had been accused of using the chemical weapons.

“With regard to the incident you quoted in Syria, I understand that Syrian Government condemned the incident,” he said.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • cuban
    Apr 7, 2017 - 1:14AM

    Think tank discussions are not the equivalent of policy. Recommend

  • whatever
    Apr 7, 2017 - 6:35AM

    Its good that both neighbors have same policies regarding nuclear weapons. As Pakistan like to have pairty with India, Indians thinktank are giving chance to them to be hyphenated with India in same bracket on NFU policy.Recommend

  • Alien1
    Apr 7, 2017 - 7:06AM

    More pakistani stupidity, there is no official confirmation from the ministry over the NFU.Recommend

  • Prabhjyot singh madan
    Apr 7, 2017 - 7:28AM

    Are there no foreign diplomats in Pakistan with a sense of sensibility. India proposed the ” no first use” more than a decade and Pakistan refrained from reciprocating the gesture. Pakistan always said we will use it as and when it is necessary. Now we Indians have removed or in the process of removing the no first use policy now.if you Pakistani legislators would have accepted our Indian position on no first use then we would be at fault if we move away from first use policy of nukes. BUT, your government never signed it or followed it so we have no legal obligation to follow it until 2 countries sign it.we proposed and you disposed it so enjoy it. Rab rakhaRecommend

  • Prada
    Apr 7, 2017 - 7:51AM

    The day one of the two nations fire a nuke – tactical or otherwise, it’s game over. Don’t know why such matters are talked about in such light vein in the corridors of power. Both nations should stop needling each other.Recommend

  • Ibne Adam
    Apr 7, 2017 - 10:00AM

    Preemptive strike has the same effect as first strike and the response would be the same. Any initiation of a nuclear strike would lead to a nuclear holocaust.
    Nuclear posturing is a dangerous game and must be avoided.Recommend

  • Gyan
    Apr 7, 2017 - 10:28AM

    What is Pakistani’s problem if we change our Nuclear doctrine? When you yourself don’t have a first use policy then why hue and cry if India wants to get rid of the same? One thing is clear this government under Modi is having none of your drama. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Apr 7, 2017 - 11:51AM

    Control your premature reaction. Did India had formally shifted its Nuclear Doctrine??. No right then why such premature reaction Pakistan FO??

    BTW assuming India has changed it doctribg which you call it irresponsible but taking it as per the same logic what would you call when many in Pakistani officialdom’s threatening India with tactical nuclear strike even to India’s conventional attack.Isn’t that irresponsible too??

    In my opinion if ever India has changed it doctrine then it is Pakistan’s own threatening tone that made your neighbor make changes as well.Recommend

  • Milind Dave
    Apr 7, 2017 - 2:05PM

    Do we need permission from pakistan when your irresponsible political leaders repeatedly satisfied their local s at various occassion and TV talk show some of prominent statement is our nuke are not for sab-e barrat we have capacity and we can attack on india with nuke ,due to nuke india did not dare to attack on us and many so more and just policy which is not endorse by indian govt and you are afraid of the statement offcourse we reserve our right for our nuke and we don’t want that you attack on us and we can not give you reciprocatory answer by the way not a single world country acknowledge your grievence however after Nikki statement you are shouting loudly but now US admin keep silence on that statement Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 28, 2017 - 4:21PM

    @Prabhjyot singh madan:
    We don’t want any bindings, we shall use nukes as and when required, may be first and not one it will be a rain of Missiles and bombs all over India, including Assam. But Not on Kashmir as the IHK is NOT India.
    Hun tay Khush ho Sardar Jee, jawab mil gaya…?Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 28, 2017 - 4:27PM

    @Ibne Adam:
    Agreed, so better resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN Resolution – 1948, for Plebiscite in Kashmir. Why India backed out after taking the matter by herself to UNO.Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 28, 2017 - 4:34PM

    No, no no, we have no problem, you have problems in Kashmir just because of non-acceptance of UN Resolution – 1948 for Plebisc, despite of the fact your then PM took the case to UN and when UN decided India ran away. So, you will have a continuous problem in Kashmir but are also afraid of possible Holocaust. Therefore, the problem is with India and Not with Pakistan.Recommend

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