Islamabad: Pakistan and India have exchanged, through diplomatic channels at Islamabad and New Delhi, a list of nuclear installations and facilities under a three-decade-old bilateral pact, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday.
“In accordance with Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India, signed on 31 December 1988, the list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan was officially handed over to a representative of the Indian High Commission at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1st January 2018, at 1030 hrs (PST),” the statement said.
Meanwhile, in accordance with the agreement, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi also handed over the list of Indian nuclear installations and facilities to a representative of the Pakistan High Commission at 1100 hours (IST), the FO statement read.
This is the 27th consecutive exchange of such a list between the two countries which ensures that both inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities that are to be covered under the agreement on January 1 every year.
While the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities was signed on December 31, 1988, it wasn’t until 1992 that the lists began to be exchanged, the Foreign Office statement added.
Global sales of arms and military services rose for the first time since 2010 after five years of consecutive decline, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012—16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a report by SIPRI, an independent resource that tracks of global arms control, disarmament and conflicts.
According to SIPRI, India is estimated to possess arsenal of 90—110 nuclear weapons, based on calculations of India’s inventory of weapon-grade plutonium and the number of operational nuclear-capable delivery systems. On the other hand, Pakistan is estimated to have about 100—120 nuclear weapons for delivery by aircraft and land-based missiles, as per SIPRI.
The nuclear facilities list-exchange comes in the backdrop of a war of words between the two countries over the meeting of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav with his family in Islamabad. India criticised Pakistan for mistreating Jadhav’s family whereas Pakistan strongly rejected the allegations, saying that the meeting was arranged purely on “humanitarian grounds”.