Pakistan, India to exchange nuclear data today
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India will exchange lists of nuclear installations and facilities on Sunday, officials said on Saturday.
The annual exchange takes place on January 1 every year under an agreement signed in 1988, when the nuclear neighbours undertook not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities. Under the agreement, they are required to exchange lists of their installations on the first working day of each year. The sources said the lists would be exchanged despite weekly holiday on Sunday.
India and Pakistan both conducted nuclear tests in 1998. The “Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities” came into force in January 1991. The lists will be handed over to the officers of the Pakistani and Indian high commissions in Islamabad and New Delhi. The first exchange took place on Jan 1, 1992, and the 2012 exchange will be the 21st consecutive list exchange between the two countries.
Pakistan and India conducted tit for tat nuclear tests in 1998. Both countries are de-facto nuclear powers. India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, followed by five more in 1998. Pakistan conducted its six nuclear tests in 1998. Neither India nor Pakistan is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). India considers the NPT discriminatory, while Pakistan has indicated that it won’t join the international agreement till its neighbour does so.
A peace process was launched in 2004, but that is now on hold following the Mumbai attacks, with New Delhi pressuring Islamabad to do more to punish those responsible for the carnage and to crack down on anti-India groups. On Tuesday, senior Pakistani and Indian officials concluded two-day talks on conventional and nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) in Islamabad. This was the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on nuclear and conventional CBMs in over four year, which was held in ‘cordial and constructive atmosphere’.
The two sides had agreed to recommend to their foreign secretaries to extend the validity of the Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons for another five years. The foreign secretaries of the two countries met in Islamabad in June 2011, where both sides agreed to reconvene the two expert groups that last met in New Delhi in October 2007. online