Pakistan and neighboring India exchanged lists of their nuclear facilities on Sunday as part of a 1988 pact that forbids them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities, according to official statements from both sides.
The countries have had strained relations since gaining independence from colonial British rule in 1947 over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. Since then, they have fought in three wars and have had several military skirmishes in recent years.
Meanwhile, both countries were building up their armies and developing nuclear weapons. India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974 and Pakistan conducted its first test in 1988.
Last year, an Indian missile accidentally landed in Pakistan, setting off worldwide alarm.
Lists relating to data on nuclear facilities and assets are exchanged annually on January 1, and it is said that India handed over the list to the Pakistani mission in New Delhi at the same time. This practice has been in existence since 1992.
“Today, the list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan was officially handed over to the representative of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
With the help of China, Pakistan has recently increased the use of nuclear power to meet the growing demand for electricity.
A separate statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said the two countries also exchanged current lists of each other’s citizens held in prisons.
India and Pakistan are exchanging lists of prisoners held in each other’s custody as part of another agreement between the countries struck in 2008.
Pakistan has shared a list of 705 detained Indians, 51 civilians and 654 fishermen. India has shared a list of 434 Pakistanis in custody, 339 civilians and 95 fishermen.
India and Pakistan arrest each other’s fishermen for crossing an unmarked maritime border between them. Their maritime security agencies seize boats and imprison fishermen, who are usually released only after the two countries negotiate. They usually spend years behind bars without a formal trial.
The 2008 agreement gives each party consular access to prisoners and requires them to exchange lists of prisoners held in each other’s custody every January and July.
Separately, Pakistan also requested consular access to its missing military personnel during the 1965 and 1971 wars and special consular access to another 56 civilian prisoners.