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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- NFU helped India get civil nuclear technology, despite being a non-member of NSG and non-signatory of NTPT.
- 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.
- FUD will send negative signal to China, with whom we need to sort out border issues and improve trade-ties.
- 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.
|1968||Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). Non signatory= India, Israel, Pakistan, South Sudan and North Korea.|
|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
|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.|
- India has stockpile of ~100 warheads
- We’ve sufficient weapon-grade plutonium for 100+ warheads. Beyond that we need more plutonium from fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam.
- India’s nuclear doctrine calls for all 3 spheres- air, water and land attack capabilities.
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
|Nuclear Weapons States||Non-Nuclear Weapons States|
|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.
|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.
- NPT has two classification: nuke weapon countries (tested bombs before 1967), non-nuke weapon countries.
- 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?
- They’re facing electricity shortage. Want to develop nuclear plants.
- 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.
- So now Pak planning to join NPT. That way Pak can legitimately demand NSG-waiver for buying fissile material and technology.
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