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US ‘lacks understanding’ of India’s defence posture: MEA on Obama’s comments

India TV News Desk 04 Apr 2016, 21:11:07 IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: In a critical response to US President Barack Obama’s comments asking India to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that it portrayed a “lack of understanding” on part of US of India’s defence posture.

Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup further asserted that India, which has a no-first use nuclear weapons policy, has never initiated military action against any neighbour.

“Yes, we have seen those (Obama’s) remarks. There seems to be a lack of understanding of India’s defence posture. Conventionally, India has never initiated military action against any neighbour. We also have a no-first use nuclear weapons policy,” he said.

He was responding to a question on Obama’s remarks over India and Pakistan’s military doctrines seeking a reduction in the country’s nuclear arsenal due to the threat of theft. The comments came last week at the Nuclear Security Summit Press Conference, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among 50 global leaders who were present at the occasion.

“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.

At the end of the two-day meet in Washington, Obama stressed on the need for India and Pakistan to make progress in reducing their nuclear arsenal and ensure they do not “continually move in the wrong direction” while developing military doctrines.

“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 United States and Russia, as the two largest possessors of nuclear weapons, are prepared to lead the way,” he had said.

“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,” the U.S. President had added.

(With PTI inputs)