Defence Minister has said that India has strictly adhered to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’(NFU) policy of nuclear weapons.But what happens in the future depends on the circumstances.
A No First Use(NFU) policy refers to any authoritative statement by a nuclear weapon state to never be the first to use these weapons in a conflict.
It will be reserved strictly only to retaliate in the aftermath of a nuclear attack against its territory or military personnel.
India adopted No first use policy after its second nuclear tests,Pokhran-II in 1998 and articulated the policy in 2003.However,the policy made it clear that India’s nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be massive and designed to inflict unacceptable damage.
In contrast,Pakistan has openly threatened India with the use of nuclear weapons on multiple occasions beginning from the time the two nations were not even acknowledged nuclear powers.
The Indian nuclear doctrine also provides that nuclear retaliatory attacks can only be authorised by the civilian political leadership through the Nuclear Command Authority.The Nuclear Command Authority comprises a Political Council and an Executive Council.The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Further,India would not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states.
India would also continue to put strict controls on the export of nuclear and missile related materials and technologies, participate in the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty negotiations, and continue to observe the moratorium on nuclear tests.