Pakistan Ready For Nuclear War (Daniel 8)
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi| Updated: Nov 19, 2016 23:57 IST
Former national security adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon has warned that the likelihood of Pakistan using tactical nuclear weapons against India has increased, which has given rise to the possibility of an all-out nuclear war between the neighbours.
Menon told a TV channel that power to use tactical nukes would be devolved to lower ranking officers in the Pakistani Army that is “increasingly religiously motivated and less professional”. He said the Pakistan Army had “consistently produced rogue officers staged coups against its own leaders”.
He indicated the use of tactical nukes by Pakistan could lead to a full-fledged nuclear conflict when India decides to mount a massive retaliation of its own.
Commenting on defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s questioning of India’s ‘no first use’ policy, Menon said the minister didn’t have a right to articulate his personal opinion on nuclear policy in public, particularly when it contradicted the country’s official policy.
He said Parrikar’s suggestion would not be in India’s interest, adding that threatening a nuclear response to a terror strike from Pakistan would be like “threatening to kill a mosquito with a shotgun”.
Menon, who was India’s foreign secretary when the 26/11 Mumbai attack took place, said he was all for “immediate visible retaliation of some sort” after the attack. He said he had pressed for action against “LeT in Muridke or their camps in PoK or against the ISI, which was clearly complicit”.
Menon said he then believed that retaliation would be “emotionally satisfying” and also go some way toward “erasing the shame of the incompetence that India’s police and security agencies displayed.” He said then foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee seemed to agree with him but didn’t reveal then PM Manmohan Singh’s response.htc