India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations, prisoners
New Delhi/Islamabad: Continuing a 30-year practice, India and Pakistan on Friday exchanged a list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral arrangement that prohibits the two countries from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
The two countries exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between India and Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
This was done simultaneously through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad.
“India and Pakistan today exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities, covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities,” the MEA said in a statement.
The exchange of the list came amid frosty ties between the two countries over the Kashmir issue as well as “cross-border terrorism”.
The agreement was signed on December 31, 1988 and it came into force on January 27, 1991.
The pact mandates the two countries to inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on the first of January of every calendar year.
This is the 30th consecutive exchange of the list with the first one taking place on January 01, 1992.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Friday handed over a list of 319 Indian prisoners including 49 civil and 270 fishermen lodged in the country’s jails to the High Commission of India as part of a bilateral agreement.
The Foreign Office (FO) said that the step is in consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between the two countries signed on May 21, 2008.
“The Government of Pakistan, today, shared with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad a list of 319 Indian prisoners in Pakistan, including 49 civilians and 270 fishermen prisoners,” it said.
Reciprocally, the Indian government also simultaneously shared the list of 340 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 263 civilians and 77 fishermen with the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi, the FO said.
The two countries under the agreement are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1st January and 1st July.
Despite recurrent tension over the years, the two countries have been exchanging the lists of prisoners without any break.
The exchange of information comes despite the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan.
Tensions between the two nations spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic relations with India and expelled the Indian high commissioner following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on August 05, 2019.
Asserting that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”, India has defended the imposition of restrictions in the Kashmir Valley on the grounds that they were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through “proxies and terrorists”.