After paying homage to late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his first death anniversary in Pokhran, Rajasthan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to reporters about the future of India’s ‘No first use policy’, reports ANI.
Accompanied by senior Indian Army officers, including Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Singh said that although it was true that India had continued with this policy till date, the question of whether it is continued into the future will depend on circumstances.
The is not the first time that a defence minister has indicated that India may not always continue with the No first use policy.
According to a report in The Economic Times, in 2018 then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had remarked that instead of saying no first use, India should state that it is a responsible nuclear power and that it would not deploy its nuclear arsenal irresponsibly.
Currently, India is only one of two nuclear-armed states pledging a no first use policy, with the other being China.
In recent years, the question of whether India should continue to pursue a no first use doctrine also seems to have become a more frequently discussed issue among the political establishment and security circles.