Spell out nuclear policy clearly: Congress

Congress senior leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. (PTI Photo)

The Congress on Friday said the government should spell out its nuclear policy clearly and remove any ambiguity over it, after Defence minister Rajnath Singh's comment on 'no first use' for nuclear weapons.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party and the entire country will stand behind the government on the country's nuclear policy, but it needs to be spelt out clearly.

The defence minister said on Friday that India remained "firmly committed" to the doctrine of 'no first use' for nuclear weapons but what happens in future depends on circumstances.

Reacting to the statement, Singhvi said, "If by this somewhat ambiguous statement, the defence minister either intends to keep us guessing or seeks to announce a change in policy, then the country would be happy to know what the new policy is. Not in ambiguous half phrases, but in a full one paragraph declared policy."

"This is a very serious issue and it cannot be communicated in ambiguity. There is a need for clarity on this and I urge the government to come out clearly," he added.

Singhvi said the government should refrain from "wordplay" on something as vital and important as nuclear policy.

"I can assure you that whatever is the policy, we will welcome it and stand behind it," he said.

The defence minister made the comments on Twitter after visiting Pokhran where India carried out nuclear tests in 1998 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister.

"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," Singh said.

He was in Pokhran to offer tributes to the former prime minister on his first death anniversary. 

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