- Recently, India and Pakistan have exchanged a list of their nuclear installations.
- The exchange was in accordance with the Article-II of Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India.
- The two countries also exchanged lists of prisoners held in each other’s prisons under the provisions of the Agreement on Consular Access signed in May 2008.
- Under this pact, the two countries should exchange comprehensive lists on 1st January and 1st July every year.
- Prohibition of Attacks against Nuclear Installations and Facilities:
- According to this agreement, both countries have to inform each other of the nuclear facilities.
- The agreement was signed in 1988 and ratified in 1991.
- This was the 31st consecutive exchange of the list between the two neighboring countries.
- Nuclear power and research reactors, fuel fabrication, uranium enrichment, isotopes separation and reprocessing facilities, as well as any other installations with fresh or irradiated nuclear fuel and materials in any form and establishments storing significant quantities of radioactive materials, are all included under the umbrella term “nuclear installations and facilities”.
- The need for the agreement had been felt against the backdrop of Israel’s 1981 bombing of Iraq’s Osirak reactor near Baghdad. The strike, carried out by Israeli fighter jets over hostile airspace, had set Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme significantly.
- The agreement had also come at a time of deep anxiety for Pakistan.
- Islamabad had been rattled by the memory of the 1972 defeat which dismembered the country, and military developments in India, such as Operation Brasstacks in 1987, which was a wargame exercise to prepare for deep strike offensive capabilities. Pakistan had at the time responded by putting its nuclear installations and assets on ‘high alert’.
Reorganization of Jammu & Kashmir
- It also created a crisis in Kashmir-centric Pakistan as at one go, the large territory of Ladakh was disassociated from the Kashmir dispute.
- Pakistan’s frustration showed in its desperate attempts to push terrorism and failed effort to gather international support against this move by India.
- The two countries agreed to the strict observance of all agreements, understandings and ceasefire along the LoC (Line of Control) and all other sectors with effect in February 2021.
- But unless there is a mutual desire, political will and the two sides must have courage to take decisive difficult decisions, there is no hope for the countries future engagement.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT