We don’t have any ‘no first use’ policy, saysPakistan Major General Asif Ghafoor

ISLAMABAD: Amidst tensions with India, Pakistan’s military clarified on Wednesday that it does not follow the “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons.

Military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor at a media briefing was asked about the statement by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who said last month that India may see a major shift in its nuclear weapons doctrine by doing away with a ‘no first use policy’ in the future.

“We don’t have any ‘no first use’ policy’. Our weapons are for deterrence.As far as India is concerned, it us up to them to formulate any policy,” he said.

Ghafoor’s comments came days after Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed that his country will never ever start a war with India, amid escalating tensions between the nuclear powers over the Kashmir issue.

Ghafoor said that the first strike could follow with the second strike.

“Nuclear countries have no room for war,” the military’s spokesperson said.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated after New Delhi on August 5 revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

Asserting that abrogation of Article 370 was its internal matter, India has strongly criticised Pakistan for making “irresponsible statements” and provocative anti-India rhetoric over issues internal to it.