Nuclear Weapons: Know more about ‘No First Use’ policy
It’s been more than a decade that India became a nuclear power. Between May 11 and 13, in 2008, India conducted nuclear tests in Pokhran. After that Pakistan too conducted six tests and acquired nuclear weapons. Till now India has maintained a ‘No First Use’ policy. But recently, home minister Rajnath Singh said that the policy may be changed depending on the circumstances. Let’s take a look at what is No First Use policy…
- No first use (NFU) refers to a pledge or a policy by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by a rival using nuclear weapons.
- China became the first nation to propose and pledge NFU policy when it first gained nuclear capabilities in 1964.
- India adopted the ‘No First Use’ policy after the Pokhran II tests in 1998, asserting that its newly acquired arsenal will be used only as a deterrent. The then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government affirmed its commitment to the goal of a “world free of nuclear weapons”.
- But Indian government also said that it reserves the right to exercise ‘massive retaliation’ if another nation should strike first.
- The Indian doctrine also states that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear powered states, and would strictly control the export of such materials and technologies.
- Other nuclear powers like the US, Russia, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea, Britain and France have pledged to use nuclear weapons only for defence. But they haven’t restricted the use to only nuclear-powered nations. This means they can use it on any nation which attacks them.