Pakistan would not use nuclear weapons first, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday, amid tensions with archrival India after New Delhi revoked the special status of its part of the disputed Kashmir region.
“We both are nuclear-armed countries. If these tensions increase, the world could be in danger,” Khan said, addressing members of the Sikh religious community in the eastern city of Lahore. “There will be no first from our side ever,” he said.
A Pakistani Foreign Ministry’s spokesman subsequently said on Twitter that the comments were being taken out of context and did not represent a change in Pakistan’s nuclear policy.
“PM was simply reiterating Pakistan’s commitment to peace and the need for both nuclear states to demonstrate responsible behaviour,” spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on his official Twitter account.
Tension remains high in Kashmir, where security forces have used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters and the valley remains under lockdown after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to withdraw special rights for the Muslim-majority state on Aug. 5.