Islamabad, April 1 (IANS) Pakistan is worried about the signs that India is rethinking its policy of ‘no first use’ (NFU) of nuclear weapons.
Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Ehsan ul Haq (Retd), who has remained closely associated with Pakistan’s nuclear thinking, said on Friday that Islamabad has always been sceptical about Indian ‘no first use’ claims.
According to Dawn online, Haq said the recent disclosure by a scholar has cleared Pakistan’s doubts that India’s NFU policy is a sham.
While speaking at the launch of ‘Learning to Live with the Bomb, Pakistan: 1998-2016’ book by Naeem Salik, a former official of the Strategic Plans Division, Haq said he was happy that Indians were themselves exposing their claims.
He claimed it was happening against the backdrop of the extremist Hindutva agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party government.
According to Dawn, Vipin Narang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said India was moving away from its policy of ‘no first use’ and might carry out a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Pakistan if it believed Islamabad was going to use nuclear weapons against it.
Haq said the rethink in India was the latest in a series of provocative actions.
According to the retired General, Indian steps from admission of interference in erstwhile East Pakistan to references to Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, scuttling the Saarc summit, escalation along the Line of Control, claims of surgical strikes, diplomatic manoeuvring to isolate Pakistan and domestic war hysteria had heightened tensions between the two countries.
India had been “challenging the credibility of Pakistan’s nuclear deterrence through doctrinal as well as technological developments”, he said.
Salik, who has in his book discussed Pakistan’s learning curve as a nuclear power, said Indian moves like the recent talk about transformation from a “passive NFU to pre-emptive disarming strikes” had kept Pakistani strategists on their toes.