India, Pakistan exchange list of nuke facilities

Last Updated: Sat, Jan 01, 2011 11:00 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Following a two-decade-old New Year ritual, India and Pakistan exchanged lists of their respective nuclear installations Saturday morning.

The exchange is done under the the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations, which was signed Dec 31, 1988.

The bilateral pact came into force from Jan 27, 1991 and provides for the two South Asian neighbours to inform each other of installations on the first of January of every calendar year.

An external affairs ministry press release said lists were exchanged 'through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad'. This was the twentieth consecutive list exchange between the two countries.

While India handed over its list to a Pakistani High Commission official, Pakistan had a similar ceremony at its Foreign Office in Islamabad Saturday morning.

Both countries are de-facto nuclear-weapon powers. India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974, followed by five more in 1998. Following India's second nuclear tests in 1998, Pakistan conducted six nuclear tests of its own.

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.

India and Pakistan have also not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which bans all nuclear explosions, whether for military or civilian purposes.

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