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    India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear installations, prisoners | Latest News India

    India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuclear installations, prisoners | Latest News India


    NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan on Monday exchanged lists of nuclear installations that cannot be attacked in the event of hostilities, maintaining a tradition dating back to 1992 despite relations between the two neighbours being at an all-time low.

    The lists of nuclear facilities were simultaneously exchanged through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad (File Photo)

    The two countries also exchanged lists of civilian prisoners and fishermen in each other’s custody, with the Indian side asking Pakistan to expedite the release of 184 Indian fishermen who have completed their prison terms and seeking immediate consular access to 12 prisoners believed to be Indian nationals.

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    The lists of nuclear facilities were simultaneously exchanged through diplomatic channels in New Delhi and Islamabad in line with the provisions of the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities, the external affairs ministry said in a brief statement.

    Both sides do not disclose details of the nuclear installations.

    The agreement was signed on December 31, 1988 and entered into force on January 27, 1991. It stipulates that India and Pakistan should inform each other about the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the pact on the first of January of every calendar year.

    This was the 33rd consecutive exchange of such lists between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.

    India and Pakistan exchange lists of prisoners and fishermen twice a year, on January 1 and July 1, under the provisions of the 2008 Agreement on Consular Access.

    The Indian side shared lists of 337 civilian prisoners and 81 fishermen in its custody who are Pakistani or are believed to be Pakistani, the external affairs ministry said in a separate statement. The Pakistani side shared lists of 47 civilian prisoners and 184 fishermen in its custody who are Indian or are believed to be Indian.

    The Indian government called for the early release and repatriation of civilian prisoners, missing Indian defence personnel and fishermen, along with their boats, from Pakistan’s custody.

    “In this context, Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 184 Indian fishermen, who have completed their sentence. In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to the remaining 12 civilian prisoners in Pakistan’s custody, who are believed to be Indian,” the external affairs ministry said.

    Pakistan was also requested to “ensure the safety, security and welfare of all Indian and believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and fishermen” pending their release.

    Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a readout issued in Islamabad that the Indian government was urged to release and repatriate all Pakistani prisoners and fishermen who had completed their sentences and whose national status had been confirmed.

    “A request for grant of consular access to missing defence personnel of 1965 and 1971 wars, and special consular access to 77 civil prisoners has also been made,” the readout added.

    The Indian side said it remains committed to addressing all humanitarian matters, including the issue of prisoners and fishermen. In this context, India urged Pakistan to expedite action to confirm the nationality of “65 believed-to-be Pakistani prisoners” whose repatriation is pending.

    Since 2014, a total of 2,639 Indian fishermen and 67 civilian prisoners have been repatriated from Pakistan. This includes 478 fishermen and nine prisoners who were repatriated in 2023.

    India and Pakistan have not had any formal or sustained talks since they ended the so-called composite dialogue in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which were carried out by a 10-member team of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terror group based in Pakistan. The attacks killed 166 people and injured scores more.

    The political leadership of both sides made attempts to resume contact, though these efforts were derailed by a string of terror attacks based on Pakistan-based groups. India and Pakistan came close to hostilities following the 2019 Pulwama suicide attack that was blamed on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

    A series of back-channel contacts, primarily involving intelligence and security officials meeting in third countries, led to the revival of the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in February 2021.

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