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Why is India mum on tactical nuclear weapons? Do we have them

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New Delhi, Nov 22: Pakistan knows it very well that it cannot match India in conventional warfare and to counter this it has developed tactical nuclear weapons. Tactical nukes are complex to make and it is obvious where Pakistan got help from to manufacture these deadly battlefield weapons. India has, however, remained mum on the tactical nuclear weapons and there has been no official statement on this matter ever.

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As per the information available in the public domain, India does not have tactical nuclear weapons and experts on the subject have said that India has never felt the need to develop them.

A defence and strategy matters expert told OneIndia that Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons primarily to deal with India's cold start launch. Cold start doctrine is something that Pakistan fears. India sees nuclear weapons as something meant to serve as a deterrent and never as an offensive option. Moreover, India has No First Use (NFU) policy, so in that context tactical nuclear weapons do not fit in India's scheme of things.

"We have not developed any tactical nuclear weapon for the simple reason that we do not feel that any country has the capacity to do what Pakistan visualises that India could do to them. India has never threatened any country historically, nor do we threaten Pakistan in any manner. If Pakistan provokes us, then India would react through cold start launch doctrine and Pakistan is worried about that. India does not have it to the best of my knowledge, because we do not need it," the defence expert said.

A tactical nuclear weapon (TNW) or non-strategic nuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon, generally smaller in its explosive power, which is designed to be used in battlefield situations, in contrast to strategic nuclear weapons which are designed to be mostly targeted in the enemy interior away from the war front. Tactical nuclear weapons are of the range of 20-60 km with the blast radius of 3-5 km.

[Why has Pakistan developed tactical nuclear weapons? Major Gen PK Sehgal explains]

Pakistan claims that NASR can carry nuclear warheads of low yieldwith high accuracy. Pakistan has also claimed that it was designed to overcome missile defense systems. Hypothetically speaking, if Indian Forces do enter Pakistan's territory and Islamabad does indeed use tactical nukes then it would also be risking the lives of its own civilians as the device would detonate in Pakistani soil.

Another thing is once Pakistan uses a nuclear weapon in any form, Indian retaliation would be unimaginable as New Delhi will not be bound by 'No First Use' policy.

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