‘No First Use’ nuclear policy may change if situation arises: Singh

Mubarak Ansari
Saturday, 17 August 2019

“Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine." the defence minister tweeted

JAISALMER/PUNE: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that India remained ‘firmly committed’ to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’ for nuclear weapons but what happens in the future will depend on the circumstances. 

He tweeted this after attending Southern Command organised 5th Army International Scout Masters Competition concluding ceremony at Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, where the Indian Army has won the competition, in which, 14 nations participated.

The minister visited Pokhran in Rajasthan where India had conducted first nuclear tests in 1998 under the leadership of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and paid homage to him on his first death anniversary. 

India has been following the doctrine of ‘No First Use’ of nuclear weapons. In a series of tweets, Union Defence  Minister Rajnath Singh described Vajpayee as one of the stalwarts of independent India.

“Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances. India attaining the status of a responsible nuclear nation is a matter of national pride for every citizen of the country and the nation will remain indebted to the greatness of Atal ji,” the defence minister tweeted.

Is the government changing its nuclear policy, asks Congress
The Congress on Friday said that it stands behind the government on the issue of defence but asked it to make it clear if it was changing the decades-old nuclear policy.

“Every citizen stands (together) as far as defence and sovereignty are concerned and in particular where the nuclear policy and nuclear use are concerned,” Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters in New Delhi.

He asked if by his ‘ambiguous statement’, the defence minister intended to keep the people guessing or announce a change in the nuclear policy.

“Then, the country will be happy to know what the new policy is, not ambiguous and not in half phrase frame but in a full one paragraph detailed policy. I can assure you whatever is the policy we will welcome it and stand by it,” he said.

(with inputs from agencies)

Indian Army wins 5th International Army Scout Masters Competition 2019
The Indian Army team has comprehensively won the 5th Army International Scout Masters Competition held at Jaisalmer Military Station from August 6 to 14 in a fiercely fought competition with teams from Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. The Indian Army team was selected and trained under the aegis of Pune-headquartered Southern Command.

The closing ceremony of the event was held in Jaisalmer on Friday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest. 

The ceremony was attended by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Lieutenant General SK Saini, Army Commander, Southern Command, delegations of participating countries, members of the international organising committee and several civil and military dignitaries.

The ceremony commenced with a smart ceremonial marching of the participating contingents into the stadium. The defence minister appreciated the sportsman spirit, dedication and the professional standards displayed by all the teams in the competition.  He also mentioned that such joint military events would lead to interoperability and sharing of best practices thereby, benefiting all participating nations. 

In the end, the 5th Army International Scout Masters Competition 2019 was declared closed by the minister. The prize distribution ceremony took place wherein the defence minister gave away the Champions Trophy to the winning Indian team, runner’s up trophy was awarded to Uzbekistan, while the second runner’s up position was secured by Russia. 

World-class infrastructure was created at Jaisalmer Military Station to conduct this prestigious event. These included a challenging obstacle course for the Infantry Combat Vehicles spread over a distance of 6.7 kilometres with 15 obstacles and another tough obstacle course for the Scout Masters teams with 22 obstacles laid over a distance of 1.3 kilometres.

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