India on Monday objected to US President Barack Obama clubbing the country with Pakistan as a challenge for global nuclear security, saying his remarks stemmed from a lack of understanding of New Delhi’s defence posture.
“Yes, we have seen those remarks. There seems to be a lack of understanding of India’s defence posture,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. He explained India, which has a no-first use nuclear weapons policy, has never initiated military action against any neighbour.
India believes its nuclear arsenals pose no danger to the world because of its no-first use policy and its track record of no-proliferation.
“Since the context was the Nuclear Security Summit, the President’s own remark that ‘expanding nuclear arsenals in some countries, with more small tactical nuclear weapons which could be at greater risk of theft’ sums up the focus of global concern,” Swarup said.
Swarup was responding to a question on Obama’s remarks last week at a news conference following the end of the Nuclear Security Summit. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among more than 50 world leaders who attended the summit.
While responding to a question on the US and Russia cutting their nuclear arsenals, Obama had said: “One of the challenges that we’re going to have here is that it is very difficult to see huge reductions in our nuclear arsenal unless the US and Russia, as the two largest possessors of nuclear weapons, are prepared to lead the way.”
He added, “The other area where I think we need to see progress is Pakistan and India, that subcontinent, making sure that as they develop military doctrines, that they are not continually moving in the wrong direction.”