M A I N   N E W S

India, Pak exchange lists of N-plants
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 1
Despite the chill in bilateral ties, India and Pakistan continued with the tradition of exchanging lists of nuclear installations on the New Year day.

But in another development, India took strong exception to the reported remarks of the so-called chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan in which he said Gilgit-Baltistan had become the ‘fifth province’ of Pakistan and henceforth had no connection to Kashmir.

The exchange of lists of nuclear facilities was done simultaneously in New Delhi and Islamabad under the agreement, which was signed on December 31, 1988, and entered into force on January 27, 1991.

The agreement provides for the two countries to inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities on January 1, every year.

An External Affairs Ministry release said this is the 19th consecutive exchange of lists between the two countries, the first having taken place on January 1, 1992.

Neither India nor Pakistan is a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The exchange of lists of nuclear installations is seen as an effective confidence building measure, as well as a way to prevent attacks on these facilities.

Meanwhile, on the reported statement of the chief minister of so-called Gilgit-Baltistan, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash asserted that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India by virtue of its accession to India in 1947. Any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever and was completely unacceptable.

“Pakistan’s actions regarding Gilgit-Baltistan in the past few months cannot camouflage its illegal occupation of part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, nor can they hide the denial of basic rights to the people in that part for the past six decades,” he said.



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