NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan exchanged through diplomatic channels the customary list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the agreement on prohibition of attack against nuclear installations between India and Pakistan. Though routine and a well established practice, the adherence to protocol comes after worsening India-Pakistan ties that have seen Prime Minister Imran Khan and other ministers in Pakistan raise the nuclear bogey several times in 2019 over incidents like the air strike on Balakot and the abrogation of J&K’s special status.
India and Pakistan also exchanged list of prisoners under their 2008 agreement and asked Islamabad to expedite grant of visas to Indian medical experts to allow them to assess the mental condition of Indian prisoners. India also called for early visit of the Joint Judicial Committee to Pakistan. The exchange of information on nuclear facilities is in keeping with the 1988 agreement which calls for the two countries to inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the same agreement on the first of January of every calendar year. This is the 29th consecutive exchange of such a list between the two countries, the first one having taken place on 1st January, 1992. On the prisoner issue, India handed over a list of 267 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen to Pakistan who are in India’s custody. Similarly, Pakistan shared lists of 55 civilian prisoners and 227 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be.
“In this context Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of four Indian civilian prisoners and 126 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan has been asked to provide immediate consular access to 14 believed-to-be Indian civilian prisoners and 100 Indian fishermen who are in Pakistan’s custody,” the government said in a statement.