On Friday, Pakistan and India shared lists of their nuclear facilities and strategic facilities under the provisions of an agreement restricting the two countries from targeting each other’s nuclear facilities in the event of conflict, a Foreign Office statement said.
The annual exchange that has taken place since 1992 on the first day of every new year began after a deal between the two competing states in December 1988 called the ‘Agreement between Pakistan and India on the Prohibition of Attacks on Nuclear Infrastructure and Facilities.’
The Foreign Office handed over its list to the Indian High Commission as part of the swap, while the Indian Ministry of External Affairs handed over a similar list to a Pakistan High Commission officer in New Delhi.
On January 1, 1992, Pakistan and India first exchanged lists. According to the agreement, all parties are to “abandon, encourage or participate, directly or indirectly, in any action aimed at causing the destruction or damage to any nuclear installation or installation in the other country.”
For 70 years, the two nations have been rivals and have fought three wars in that time.
Due to a series of recent developments starting from the Feb 2019 Pulwama suicide attack, which India blamed on Pakistan, in which 44 of its soldiers were killed in occupied Kashmir, existing relations between the two remain especially strained.
Days after the Pulwama incident, after an aerial dogfight between the two air powers, the two nuclear states fell on the verge of war, resulting in the downing of two Indian fighter planes and one of the pilots being captured by Pakistan.
In August 2019, the revocation by India of the special status of occupied Kashmir in defiance of UNSC resolutions led to a further worsening of relations between the two.
Pakistan has recently warned that India is conducting another “false-flag operation” close to the one it undertook in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, threatening that, as happened in Feb 2019, any such act would be met with a strong Pakistani response.