Indian Party Backpedals on Provocative Nuclear Policy Remarks

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
April 9, 2014, 5:11 a.m.

Fol­low­ing a me­dia up­roar, the Bhar­atiya Janata Party is mov­ing to quell spec­u­la­tion that it wants to end In­dia’s long­stand­ing no-first-use nuc­le­ar arms policy.

An elec­tion mani­festo re­leased on Monday by the lead­ing op­pos­i­tion party prom­ised to “study in de­tail In­dia’s nuc­le­ar doc­trine, and re­vise and up­date it” — word­ing that some took to mean that the no-first-use pos­ture, long the pil­lar of In­dia’s nuc­le­ar weapons doc­trine, could be thrown out. In re­sponse to those con­cerns, seni­or BJP of­fi­cials are now sug­gest­ing the party has not made a de­cision on the fu­ture of the policy.

BJP mem­ber Ravi Shank­ar Prasad, who man­ages the party’s me­dia strategy, in an in­ter­view with the Hindus­tan Times on Wed­nes­day em­phas­ized the party mani­festo is not meant to get in­to is­sue de­tails.

In de­vel­op­ing its cam­paign plat­form, the Bhar­atiya Janata Party “con­sul­ted vari­ous ex­perts,” Prasad said. “Some of them felt In­dia had not op­tim­ally ex­ploited its thori­um re­serves to boost its ci­vil­ian nuc­le­ar pro­gram. But the nu­ances of all these as­pects of nuc­le­ar doc­trine can­not be dis­cussed in a party’s mani­festo. The [In­di­an gov­ern­ment] Cab­in­et Com­mit­tee on Se­cur­ity has to take a call after con­sid­er­ing the facts be­fore it.”

The Bhar­atiya Janata Party ac­cuses the gov­ern­ing Con­gress Party of not cap­it­al­iz­ing on the stra­tegic ad­vance­ments made by the na­tion’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram in the 1990s un­der an earli­er BJP-led co­ali­tion gov­ern­ment. The op­pos­i­tion party prom­ises that if it wins na­tion­al elec­tions, as is widely ex­pec­ted, one of its top goals will be to re­in­vig­or­ate both the coun­try’s ci­vil­ian and mil­it­ary atom­ic pro­grams.

In­dia’s nuc­le­ar weapons doc­trine was de­veloped by the BJP-led gov­ern­ment shortly after the coun­try car­ried out its first nuc­le­ar tests in 1998. The doc­trine is largely premised on the prom­ise by In­dia that it will nev­er be the first to use nuc­le­ar arms, but if at­tacked with such arma­ments would re­spond with “massive re­tali­ation.”

Man­oj Joshi, a fel­low at the Ob­serv­er Re­search Found­a­tion in New Del­hi, in a Wed­nes­day blog post said he found the BJP mani­festo to be “quite mod­er­ate and clear” and no cause for alarm.

“The BJP’s com­mit­ment needs to be seen in the con­text of the fail­ure of the [Con­gress Party-led co­ali­tion] gov­ern­ment to up­date In­dia’s nuc­le­ar doc­trine … and evolve a strategy which would in­teg­rate the coun­try’s con­ven­tion­al war-fight­ing po­ten­tial with its nuc­le­ar weapons cap­ab­il­ity,” he wrote.

What We're Following See More »
ALL 100 SENATORS
Dem Senator Calls North Korea Briefing “Sobering”
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS
SAYS CLINTON ADMINISTRATION BASICALLY GOT IT RIGHT
Pai Announces Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even as he acknowledged the importance of an open internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday set his telecom agency on a course to scrap the tough, broad net neutrality protections imposed by the Obama administration. During a major speech in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined the need for a total revision of existing federal rules that seek to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors." Separately, Pai told Reason's Nick Gillespie that the Clinton Administration "basically got it right when it came to digital infrastructure. We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015."

Source:
WILL ANGER CONSERVATIVES
White House to Continue Paying Obamacare Insurers
8 hours ago
BREAKING
LOFTY GOALS
White House Proposes New Tax Plan
9 hours ago
BREAKING

The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Source:
ORDERED BY PRESIDENT
DHS Launches Office for Victims of Crimes by Immigrants
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), as called for in a presidential executive order from January. The new office's website states that its staff "will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission—to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login