India defence minister makes veiled threat of nuclear war

What happens in the future depends on the circumstances, says Rajnath Singh on 'No First Use' policy

​ Our Correspondent August 16, 2019
Indian Defemce Minister Rajnath Singh. PHOTO: AFP/File

Amid mounting pressure on India over its illegal move in Occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defence minister has made a veiled threat of a nuclear war in the region.

Though Rajnath Singh didn’t name any country, it is understood the threat was directed at Pakistan. It shows Modi’s growing frustration at his ill-conceived move to strip Occupied Kashmir of its autonomy on August 5.

“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,” Singh wrote on his verified Twitter handle.

The Pokhran-II tests were a series of five nuclear tests conducted by India at the Indian army’s Pokhran Test Range in May 1998 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.

India’s belligerent posturing following the nuclear detonations forced Pakistan to conduct five simultaneous underground nuclear tests just two weeks later on May 28, 1998. The tests were conducted at Ras Koh Hills in the Chagai district of Balochistan.

“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,” the Indian defence minister wrote in another tweet after visiting Pokran on the first death anniversary of Vajpayee.

Singh’s veiled threat came at a time when the UN Security Council is taking up the precarious situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir which has been turned into what award-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy says a ‘giant prison camp’ in an attempt to contain the simmering rage in the disputed territory.

Writing in The New York Times on India’s Independence Day on Thursday, Roy said: “…it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.”

The Modi government is visibly upset at the UN Security Council decision to take up the Kashmir dispute at Pakistan’s request endorsed by China after almost 50 years. Islamabad calls the UNSC decision a huge “diplomatic achievement”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned the international community of “severe repercussions and reactions” if they “silently witness another Srebrenica-type massacre & ethnic cleansing of Muslims in IOK”.

“If war breaks out in the region, the world powers and international bodies will be responsible as they have failed to implement the UN resolutions on Kashmir,” the premier wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Pakistan has told the international community umpteen times that the festering Kashmir dispute between Islamabad and New Delhi remains a nuclear flashpoint in the South Asian region.

Premier Imran has repeatedly said that Pakistan doesn’t want war in the region as military confrontation between the two nuclear-tipped hostile neighbours would spiral out of control and the result would be apocalyptic not just for the region but the whole world.







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