[Nuclear Diplomacy] India’s No first use” Nuclear weapon policy vs Pak’s conditional sign to NPT

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  1. D1: India’s No First Use (NFU) Police for Nuke weapons
  2. D2: Pakistan: Conditional NPT signature

D1: No First USE policy for nuke weapons

Topic is in news because BJP Manifesto called for updating the NFU policy.
Q1.  Discuss in brief the “No first use” Nuclear weapon policy of India, and examine the needs for reform in it. (200 words)

What is NFU?

  • In 1998, After Pokharan II, PM Vajpayee declared India’s No-first use (NFU) policy to pacify the world leaders.
  • As per NFU, India will retaliate with nuclear strike, IF the aggressors use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us.

YES to reforms?

  1. Our conventional military might alone is sufficient to obliterate the Pakistan in future conflicts. Therefore, Pakistan began developing small sized, portable Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNW) such as “Nasr” missile system.
  2. Given political instability in Pakistan, if these TNW are stolen or “outsourced” to terrorists, we cannot wait for them to “First” nuke attack before applying NFU.
  3. In case of a full scale war with China, even if they use no nuclear weapons, our ground forces will be overwhelmed. In such situation, sticking to NFU will be illogical.

NO to reforms?

  1. Paki nuke establishment cannot survive the first round from India. So, if we revoke NFU, Pakistan will get more scared and tempted to adopt “First Nuclear Use” policy.
  2. 2013: Paki Army doctrine updated & their “homegrown militancy” was listed as “biggest threat” to national security. If India’s NFU changes, they’ll revert the doctrine.
  3. NFU helped India get civil nuclear technology, despite being a non-member of NSG and non-signatory of NTPT.
  4. 2014: Nuclear Security Summit at Hague, PM Singh called for an “International No-first Use doctrine”. If we now change NFU, it will contradict the India’s good image of peace-loving and responsible nuclear power.
  5. FUD will send negative signal to China, with whom we need to sort out border issues and improve trade-ties.
  6. First use doctrine (FUD) requires 24/7 preparedness and carries risk of unauthorised nuclear use via miscommunication.

~280 words but you can skip a few points to “fit” this in 200 words.

Timeline: India-Pakistan Nuclear capability
1968 Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Non signatory= India, Israel, Pakistan, South Sudan and North Korea.
1974 Pokharan-I
1998 Pokharan IIVajpayee promised Parliament that “India would not be the first to use nuclear weapons.”
1999 National Security Adviser (NSA) Brajesh Mishra drafted NFU policy.
2003 Vajpayee Government  formally adopts India’s nuclear doctrine

  1. We’ll not threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states (=negative security assurance),
  2. We’ll launch a massive nuke retaliation if weapons of mass destruction are used against India or its armed forces.
  3. (Later amended) that even in case of chemical and biological attack, we’ll use nuclear retaliation.
2005 Indo US nuclear deal.
2008 NSG ends the ban on nuclear trade with India. Permits supply of any nuclear equipment and material for civilian use.
  1. India has stockpile of ~100 warheads
  2. We’ve sufficient weapon-grade plutonium for 100+ warheads. Beyond that we need more plutonium from fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam.
  3. India’s nuclear doctrine calls for all 3 spheres- air, water and land attack capabilities.

D2: Pakistan: Conditional NPT signature

Why in news? Because in a recent seminar, Paki Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Chairman said “We’re ready to sign NPT.”
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

  • Agreement in force from 1970
  • classifies the countries into two categories
NPT categorization
Nuclear Weapons States Non-Nuclear Weapons States
  • Countries that tested nuke bombs before 1st January 1967.
  • meaning Only P5: U.S., U.K., France, China and the Soviet Union
Everyone else.
They can continue to possess the nuclear weapons for the time being. But ultimately they’ll have to begin disarmament. Promised not to acquire nuclear weapons.

Sequent of Events after NPT

1974 India conducts nuclear test @Pokhran.
1975 Dr. A.Q. Khan steals Uranium technology from Netherlands to Pak.
1975 Group of Nuclear exporter countries met at London, to put export controls on such Non-Nuclear Weapon countries. Otherwise NPT would become meaningless. This gang later transforms into NSG.
1992 Nuclear Supply Group (NSG) releases “dual-use” guideline.

Dual use guideline:

  • IF a given material/technology has “dual use” i.e. in making nuke bomb + in making nuclear reactors for energy…
  • THEN Nuclear supplier country can export / transfer it to another country
  • ONLY IF the recipient country (e.g India) promises not to use it for nuclear explosion OR in unsafe nuke reactors.
  • But still, NSG approval necessary before such export/transfer begins.

In other words, by “dual use guideline”, NSG aims to prevent spread of sensitive nuke technology to problematic countries such as N.Korea and Pakistan.

Sequence of Events
1998 May second week India again tests nuclear bombs in Pokhran
1998 May last week Pakistan PM Sharif also tests nuclear bombs to show we are also in the race.
2005 Indo US nuclear deal signed.
2008 NSG gave permission to India to buy nuclear material and technology for its civilian energy program. Despite the fact that India hasn’t signed NPT.
  • After NSG waiver, one by one, France, UK, Canada, S.Korea, Nambia, Argentina et al signed nuclear treaties with India, promising to supply fissile material / technology / both.
  • Pakistan doesn’t like this,-not-one-bit.
  • For a while, Pakistan also lobbied for similar treaty with US/UK but no success because of the “Dual use” guideline- no sane country in the world, is willing to sell Pakistanis any nuke material or technology.
  • So, Pakistan comes up with a new mind-game cum timepass talk, called “Conditional NPT signature”

Pakistan’s says we are ready to sign NPT, BUT with following condition.

  1. NPT has two classification: nuke weapon countries (tested bombs before 1967), non-nuke weapon countries.
  2. Although we tested first nuke-bomb only in 1998 STILL give us membership in “nuke weapon country” category.

Why does Pak. Want to join NPT?

  1. They’re facing electricity shortage. Want to develop nuclear plants.
  2. Like India, Pakistan wanted exceptional treaty with US and NSG-waiver, without signing the NPT. But that’s unlikely to happen due to “Dual use guideline”. Pakistan is facing nuclear “Apartheid” because of its “tainted” past like Dr. AQ Khan “the nuclear thief”, Sheltering Osama and so on.
  3. So now Pak planning to join NPT. That way Pak can legitimately demand NSG-waiver for buying fissile material and technology.

Visit Mrunal.org/Diplomacy for entire list articles on Diplomacy & International relations (IR) for Mains GS2 paper of UPSC Civil service IAS/IPS Exam.

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93 Comments on “[Nuclear Diplomacy] India’s No first use” Nuclear weapon policy vs Pak’s conditional sign to NPT”

  1. Bole to Jhkas article :-)

  2. god bless u sir.. thank you…

  3. So USA and The Al-Quaida are on the same side? LOL, Anyways, Thank you Mrunal Sir, for this post.

  4. please provide some usefull article on UPPCS Pre 2014. we would be highly oblized.

  5. A slight type mistake – Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) won Nobel Peace Prize for 2013. The Nobel Prizes for 2014 are yet to be announced.

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    2. If possible please share picture of notification

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    1. That’s a good increase in posts. Last yr it was 98

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    1. Really? It will be great relief

  9. Thanks a lot sir ,,,,,,,

  10. Great news.. Both UPSC Notification & RBI Grade B Posts………….

  11. notification is there on the upsc site

  12. Mrunal bhai please do an article on moneylaundering. I cant understand the role of tax havens, dtaa, round tripping, swiss banks etc in money laundering. govt has now even constituted an SIT on this. I have searched extensively on this but find it difficult to understand. I like the way you explain with everything broken-down and with examples. Please help.

  13. once again……..an awesome article…..thanku alot sir

  14. Mrunal sir, need ur specialised articles on bifurcation of AP – steps towards development in those areas and need of arcticle 370 in J & K

  15. excellant…….!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for all of this!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Great article, your writing style has make me fan of yours.
    Thank you for such a selfless help.
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    Thanks again.

  18. Hello sir congratulationsand thank you for your efforts you are doing for civil aspirants.
    Sir I have a request to you please include the hindu topics in your articles as it covers the major portion for current topics. This news paper is not available in my city so I have to rely on online subscription which is not easy in case of newspaper on daily basis. If you can add importanat topics from there in your articles I will be very helpfull to us. Thank you sir

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    1. Thanks for site

  20. very very thank u sir

  21. Thank u very mauch sir, very useful information

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  23. i want to know is Assad gov and their supporter shabiha are so much powerfull that they are able to tackle National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Rebel Forces(international) i mean how do they so ??

  24. Why on one hand India condemn terrorism in unga on other hand does join hand with us led war against IS? What does it signifies?

  25. Thanks a lot sir v v v useful info

  26. excellent explanation by Mr. Mrunal. you clear all my fogs regarding this NSG topic and their constraint.

  27. Hi, sometimes I see a 500 site message when I view this webpage. Just a heads up, regards

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