Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pakistan and India Exchange List of Nuclear Installations

Pakistan and India exchanged a list of their nuclear installations through diplomatic channels, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

The annual exchange took place in accordance with the agreement on “Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities” signed between the two nuclear neighbors in December 1988 and ratified in January 1991, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, India also exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities with Pakistan.

“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 between India and Pakistan,” a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.

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According to the agreement, both countries should inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities on Jan. 1 of each year.

This practice has been followed consecutively since 1992, the statements noted.

Pakistan also shared a list of 628 Indian prisoners, including 51 civilians and 577 fishermen. India also simultaneously shared the list of 355 Pakistani prisoners in India including 282 civilians and 73 fishermen, the statement said.

The exchange of the lists came amid strain in ties between the two countries over the Kashmir issue.

This was the 31st consecutive exchange of such lists with the first one taking place on January 01, 1992.

Pakistan and India are among a few select countries with nuclear arsenals.

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India joined the nuclear club long before Pakistan, in 1974, prompting Islamabad to follow suit. Pakistan silently developed its own nuclear capability in the 1980s, when it was an ally of the US in the first Afghan war against the crumbling Soviet Union.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India currently possesses between 155 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan holds between 165.

Meanwhile, a number of international think tanks, which blame China for assisting Pakistan’s nuclear program, believe the size of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal will cross the 300 mark within the next five years.

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