Pakistan terms India's no First Use policy on nukes 'ambiguous', says Parrikar's comments worrisome

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday described as "ambiguous" India's 'No First Use' policy on nuclear weapons and said it cannot be a substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures, days Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar questioned the doctrine.

"Pakistan believes the ambiguous 'No First Use' Declaration is not verifiable and amounts to nothing. It can't be a substitute for verifiable arms control and restraint measures proposed by Pakistan's standing offer of Strategic Restraint Regime," Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in his weekly briefing.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

He was responding to the recent remarks by Parrikar in which he asked why India cannot say "we are a responsible nuclear power and I will not use it irresponsibly" instead of affirming a "no first use policy". Later he had said the remarks were personal in nature.

Zakaria said statement by the defence minister of a country that repeatedly and constantly heightens tension and maintains an aggressive posture should be a matter of concern for all.

He said signing of nuclear deals by some countries is a matter of concern as it is only reinforcing arrogance and belligerence with which India conducts itself in the region and beyond, in an indirect reference to Indo-Japan nuclear deal.

Zakaria also said Pakistan established itself as a serious candidate for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG), increasing number of countries were supporting the non-discriminatory approach.

"There is also growing recognition of the fact that 2008 exemption to India neither benefited non-proliferation regime nor objective of strategic stability in South Asia," he said.

The spokesman expressed the confidence that members of the NSG would bear in mind the need to prevent further erosion of non-proliferation regime and preserving credibility of the NSG as a rule-based organisation.

He said Pakistan has expressed its openness to measures for strengthening non-proliferation objectives to the NSG, which included proposal for binding bilateral agreement with India on non-testing.


Updated Date: Nov 18, 2016 18:57 PM

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