NEW DELHI: Affirming India’s public posture of ‘No First Use’ nuclear weapon policy yet again, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Dr R Chidambaram on Wednesday said that there was no need to change the ongoin nuclear policy.
“There is no need to change the “No First Use” policy. As a responsible country it is a good position to keep,” said Chidambaram while addressing the Jasjit Singh Memorial lecture on national security organised by Centre for Air Power Studies in New Delhi.
The main features of India’s nuclear doctrine were made public in January 2003 which has remained unchanged. The main points were building and maintaining a credible minimum deterrent, “No First Use” posture; to use nuclear weapons only “in retaliation against a nuclear attack on Indian territory or on Indian forces anywhere”, Nuclear retaliation to a first strike will be “massive” and designed to inflict “unacceptable damage”, non-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, India to retain option of retaliating with nuclear weapons in the event of a major attack against it with biological or chemical weapons. Also, a continued commitment to goal of nuclear weapon free world is included in India’s nuclear policy.
Chidambaram (82) was the chief scientific advisor to the government and director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He was a key member of the teams that carried out India’s two nuclear tests in Pokhran in 1974 and 1998.
Reminding Indian declaration of moratorium on nuclear tests Dr Chidambaram rejected the need to carry out any more tests. “We did five tests, and we don’t need more. We cleaned up our knowledge of physics during the test then, and with supercomputing and better modelling, India does not need to carry out any further tests.”