Pakistan, India exchange list of nuclear installations, prisoners
Islamabad: Pakistan and India on Saturday exchanged a list of their nuclear installations that cannot be attacked in case of an escalation in hostilities, as part of an annual ritual that has been in practice between the two neighbours for more than three decades, a Foreign Office statement said here.
The two countries also exchanged lists of prisoners held in each other’s prisons, which include civilians, defence personnel and fishermen, it said.
The lists of nuclear installation and facilities were exchanged as per the provisions of the Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities, signed on December 31, 1988 and ratified on 27 January 1991.
According to this agreement, both countries have to inform each other of the nuclear facilities.
This practice of exchanging lists has continued since January 1, 1992.
The exchange of the lists came amid strain in ties between the two countries over the Kashmir issue as well as cross-border terrorism.
The list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan was officially handed over to a representative of the Indian High Commission at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 1030 hours PST on Saturday.
Similarly, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi handed their list of nuclear installations and facilities to a representative of the Pakistan High Commission at 1100 hours IST, the Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.
In a similar exchange, Pakistan shared with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad a list of 628 Indian prisoners in Pakistan, including 51 civilians and 577 fishermen.
The Indian Government also simultaneously shared the list of 355 Pakistani prisoners in India including 282 civilians and 73 fishermen with the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi, it said.
These lists are exchanged under the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access signed in May 2008.
Under this pact, the two countries should exchange comprehensive lists on January 1 and July 1 every year.
This step is consistent with clause (i) of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on 21 May 2008, under which both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 01 January and 01 July, respectively, the Foreign Office said.