Pakistan's president assured rival India he would not be the first to use atomic weapons and proposed the idea of a nuclear-free South Asia, media reports said Sunday.
Pakistan's nuclear doctrine does not contain a clause saying the country will not use its weapons first in any conflict, unlike India. It was not clear if President Asif Ali Zardari's comments represented a formal change in policy.
Still, they were another sign of his warmness toward India, which has been traditionally regarded as Pakistan's No. 1 enemy.
"I don't feel threatened by India and India should not feel threatened by us," he was quoted as saying in a video conference question-and-answer session Saturday at an event organized by The Hindustan Times, a major Indian newspaper.