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'No first use' nuke policy to continue: Krishna

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Last Updated: March 16, 2011, 17:15 IST

'No first use' nuke policy to continue: Krishna

The existing doctrine was announced by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance regime in 1998.

New Delhi: The Government on Wednesday rejected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh's suggestion for a revisit of the 'no first use' policy for nuclear weapons, saying the existing doctrine, announced by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime, will continue.

"Our policy (no first use) remains as it exists. Government is committed to safeguarding India's security interests in consonance with our declared (nuclear) doctrine," External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told the Lok Sabha.

Replying to a debate on the demands for grants for his ministry, Krishna said the country would maintain a minimum nuclear deterrence.

Initiating the debate Tuesday, Jaswant Singh, the foreign minister in the BJP-led NDA government, called for a review of the 'no first use' nuclear weapons doctrine declared after India's 1998 nuclear tests.

Earlier on Wednesday, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said he will contact Jaswant Singh to discuss the issue.

"We will ask him what is the alternative and take it from there," Menon told reporters at the Indian Women's Press Corps in New Delhi.

India has a policy of no-first use primarily against non-nuclear weapon states.

At the same time, India retains the option of using nuclear weapons in case of a major attack by biological and chemical weapons. These had been enshrined in the official nuclear doctrine released in January 2003.
first published:March 16, 2011, 17:15 IST
last updated:March 16, 2011, 17:15 IST