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    Pakistan, India exchange lists of nuclear facilities, prisoners


    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India have exchanged the lists of their respective nuclear facilities and installations, and prisoners, the Foreign Office said on Saturday.

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

    India also said it 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,” the statement by its Ministry of External Affairs read.

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

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

    Meanwhile, Pakistan also shared a list of 628 prisoners of Indian origin with the Indian High Commission in accordance with the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access. 51 prisoners on the list are civilians, while 577 are 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,” the statement added.

    According to the 2008 agreement, India and Pakistan are required to share a list of prisoners both countries are holding across the border twice a year on January 1 and July 1.

    Nuclear arms race

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

    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, India currently possesses between 80 and 100 nuclear warheads, while Pakistan holds between 90 and 110.

    Meanwhile, a number of international think tanks believe the size of Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal will cross the 200 mark within the next five years.



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