Amidst tensions with India, Pakistan’s military clarified on Wednesday that it does not follow the ‘no first use’ policy on nuclear weapons.
Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor at a media briefing was asked about the statement by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who said last month that India may see a major shift in its nuclear weapons doctrine by doing away with a ‘no first use policy’ in the future.
“We don’t have any ‘no first use’ policyOur weapons are for deterrence. As far as India is concerned, it us up to them to formulate any policy,” he said.
Ghafoor’s comments came days after Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed that his country will never ever start a war with India, amid escalating tensions between the nuclear powers over the Kashmir issue.
Ghafoor said that the first strike could follow with the second strike.
“Nuclear countries have no room for war,” the military’s spokesperson said.
The Pakistan military also said India was given consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav after it accepted the five conditions for the meeting.
Jadhav, 49, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” in April 2017, following which India had moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ), seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.
Charge d’Affaires at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad Gaurav Ahluwalia met Jadhav on Monday for two hours after Pakistan granted consular access to the retired Indian Navy officer following a directive from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in July.
Major General Ghafoor said Pakistan put forward five conditions for the consular access and ‘India accepted the conditions’.
He did not provide any further details of the conditions.
The Foreign Office on Monday said in a statement that the consular access happened ‘in the presence of officials of the Government of Pakistan’.
On India’s request, there was no restriction on the language of communication, the FO said, adding that the ‘access was recorded’.