Making a huge statement on India’s ‘No-First-Use (NFU) Nuclear Policy’, defence minister Manohar Parrikar on November 10 questioned ‘Why a lot of people say that India has No First Use policy’ and added ‘Why should I bind myself…’
— ANI (@ANI_news) November 10, 2016
Though he went on to add that instead of binding themselves, India should say ‘I am a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly.’
His statement though stoked a huge controversy and added that it was “him thinking” and that the nuclear doctrine “has not changed” under any Indian government so far.
“This is my thinking. Some of them may immediately tomorrow flash that Parrikar says that nuclear doctrine has changed. It has not changed in any government policy but my concept, I am also an individual. And as an individual, I get a feeling sometime why do I say that I am not going to use it first. I am not saying that you have to use it first just because you don’t decide that you don’t use it first. The hoax can be called off.”
NFU policy is part of India’s nuclear doctrine, under which India is bound to a ‘No First Use’ posture and non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states.
This means that under the NFU India won’t be the first one to use nuclear weapons in a situation conflict.
Further, in contrast, Pakistan does not have an NFU policy for its nuclear arsenal and thus is not bound by any such commitment.
So far, since its initiation India has always held its commitment to NFU policy and even used it at international forums as a proof that they are a responsible nuclear power.