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India, Pakistan start New Year 2022 with exchanging lists of nuclear sites

Diplomats of the two countries have been sharing the lists for the last 31 years.

India Pakistan start New Year 2022 with exchanging lists of nuclear sites
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New Delhi, First Published Jan 1, 2022, 1:56 PM IST
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India and Pakistan on Saturday exchanged their list of nuclear installations and facilities in their respective capital cities through diplomatic channels. The exchange of a list of nuclear installations and facilities is covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack between the two countries. 

A representative of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad was handed the list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs around 10:30 am on Saturday. Half an hour later, the Ministry of External Affairs handed over its list to a representative of the Pakistan High Commission.

The bilateral arrangement was signed that the two sides will prohibit themselves from attacking each other's atomic facilities. New Delhi and Islamabad had signed the agreement on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991, and since then every year on January 1 the two countries inform each other of their nuclear facilities. 

The diplomats of the two countries have been sharing the lists for the last 31 years. The first exchange took place on January 1, 1992. Despite the tension between the two countries over the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and airstrikes against the terrorist launchpad in Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir in 2019, the two sides continued to the information exchange. The airstrike on Balakote was carried out in revenge against the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in Pulwama on February 14, 2019.

A recent analysis by the United States-based Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists noted how Islamabad has continued to develop its nuclear arsenal with more warheads and delivery systems. The report also pointed out how the country was expanding its fissile material production. According to nuclear weapons watchdog armscontrol, Pakistan has managed to take a slight edge over India with regard to nuclear weapons.

The two countries also exchanged a list of civilians and fishermen from each other's nations who are languishing in jails. Pakistan claimed that 628 Indian nationals, which includes 51 civilians and 577 fishermen, are currently lodged in the country's prisons. At the same time, India informed Islamabad that 335 Pakistani citizens (282 civilians and 73 fishermen) are in Indian jails.

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