Pokhran, August 16: Amid heightened tensions with Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh issued a cryptic statement on India's nuclear policy, claiming that the nation adheres to "no first use" approach to this date, but the strategy may change in future.
"Till today, our nuclear policy is 'No First Use'. What happens in future depends on the circumstances," Rajnath said, in the backdrop of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's allegation that India is planning a military operation in the part of Kashmir held under Islamabad's jurisdiction. Pakistan PM Imran Khan Says ‘If War-Like Situation Arises, India Will Be Responsible’
The statement, which security experts have interpreted as an emphatic warning to Pakistan, was issued by the Defence Minister in Pokhran -- the site where India tested its nuclear missile in 1998.
"It is a coincidence that today I came for International Army Scout Masters Competition in Jaisalmer and today it is the first death anniversary of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. So, I felt I should pay tribute to him on the land of Pokhran only," he said.
Update by ANI:
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Pokhran: Till today, our nuclear policy is 'No First Use'. What happens in future depends on the circumstances. https://t.co/nlPTQ5vLUm
— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2019
Meanwhile, tensions continue to escalate between India and Pakistan in backdrop of the Narendra Modi government's decisive move in Jammu & Kashmir.
Skirmish erupted at the border on Thursday in Uri and Rajouri sectors, in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed. While Pakistan Army claims to have shot down five Indian soldiers, the claim has been categorically rejected by New Delhi.
Imran Khan, while addressing the assembly of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) on August 14, likened the ideology of India's ruling dispensation to that of Nazi Germany. "I wanted to settle our issues through dialogue. But they are not interested...They are driven by hate against Pakistan and wants to eliminate us. But we are battle-hardened and prepared to fight," he said.