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January 2, 2021

Pakistan, India exchange lists of nuclear installations, prisoners

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January 2, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan desires peace and cordial relations with all its neighbours but in case of India, the onus lies with New Delhi to create an enabling environment by rescinding its illegal and unilateral actions in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), said the Foreign Office here on Friday.

During the weekly media briefing, Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said despite bilateral relations at an all-time low, Pakistan and India kept their 1992 Agreement alive through which on Friday they exchanged lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities through their high commissions.

“The exchange of lists of nuclear installations and facilities between Pakistan and India takes place regularly in accordance with the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between the two countries in the interest of peace and security. Accordingly, both these lists were officially exchanged today, simultaneously in Islamabad and New Delhi,” said the spokesman.

Today’s exchange is in accordance with Article-II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India, signed on 31st December 1988, the list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan.

The agreement contains the provision that both countries inform each other of their nuclear installations and facilities on January 1 every year. This is being done consecutively since 1st January 1992.

Both the countries also shared another list related to the number of prisoners in their custody. Pakistan says it has 319 Indian prisoners, including 49 civilians and 270 fishermen. This step of exchanging prisoners’ list is consistent with the provisions of the Consular Access Agreement between Pakistan and India, signed on 21 May 2008, under which both countries are required to exchange lists of prisoners in each other’s custody twice a year, on 1st January and 1st July, respectively.

The Indian government also simultaneously shared the list of 340 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 263 civilians and 77 fishermen in its custody. To a query of this practice when diplomatic relations had been downgraded, the spokesman responded, “The decision to downgrade diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Indian was taken in response to India’s inhuman, illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019 and brutalization of Kashmiris. Since the issue of prisoners is a humanitarian issue, we feel that it should be resolved on humanitarian grounds through the existing mechanisms”.

Regarding the dossier that Pakistan has shared with the P5 countries related to India’s subversive activities in Pakistan, the spokesman said it contained irrefutable evidence of India’s state sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan.

“We have shared this dossier with the international community including the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, United Nations Secretary General, and President of the UNSC. The findings and contents of the dossier have left no doubt about Indian sponsorship of terrorism. The contents of the dossier have been taken seriously and are being examined by various parties with whom we have shared it,” he said.

Furthermore, due to the report by EU DisinfoLab on India’s disinformation network, the spokesman said India’s credibility in the international community has been severely damaged. “For far too long, India has masqueraded itself as a victim of terrorism. It is time that world saw the reality of India as a state sponsor of terrorism and a purveyor of anti-Pakistan propaganda globally”, he added.

However, the message from Islamabad, said the spokesman, was that Pakistan desired peace and cordial relations with all our neighbours. “Pakistan believes that India’s irresponsible actions and belligerent statements are imperiling regional peace and security. It is India that has vitiated the atmosphere with its illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019 in IOJ&K and with continuous belligerent rhetoric”, he pointed out.

Pakistan has repeatedly been saying that the onus is on India to create an enabling environment by rescinding its illegal and unilateral actions, ending its state-terrorism against the Kashmiri people, and agreeing to resolve the Jammu & Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

The spokesman also firmly rejected any insinuations regarding deterioration in Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations as baseless and misleading. “Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy strong fraternal ties and the two countries have always cooperated with each other on all matters of bilateral, regional and international importance. Pakistan greatly values its relations with Saudi Arabia”, he stated. To a query on details of deferred payment facility for import of oil from Saudi Arabia, the spokesman referred the question to the Ministry of Finance.