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NEW DELHI : India and Pakistan on Wednesday exchanged lists of nuclear installations that the two sides have agreed will not be targeted in the event of hostilities, in continuation of a tradition that goes back almost three decades.

This comes despite the tension between the two countries, which were heightened following a terrorist attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama region on 14 February 2019 that killed 40 paramilitary personnel. India had then launched a pre-emptive aerial attack against a terrorist training camp inside Pakistan’s Khyber Paktunkhwa region. Tensions again rose in August when New Delhi revoked a provision of its Constitution that granted special status to Kashmir and integrated the region more closely with the rest of India.

The two countries on Wednesday also exchanged lists of their nationals held in prisons in the other country, with India seeking the early release of its civilian prisoners, missing defence personnel and fishermen.

“India and Pakistan exchanged, through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad, the list of nuclear installations and facilities covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between India and Pakistan," India’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The exchange took place under the terms of a pact that came into force on 27 January 1991, the ministry said. It provides for the two countries to “inform each other of nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the agreement on the first of January of every calendar year," the ministry added.

The two countries also exchanged information of prisoners held in the other country under the Agreement on Consular Access pact signed in May 2008, the foreign ministry said. It seeks the exchange of “comprehensive lists" of detainees on 1 January and 1 July every year.

India handed over a list of 267 Pakistani civilian and 99 fishermen who are in its custody. Pakistan shared a list of 55 civilians and 227 fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed to be Indians, the ministry said.

“India remains committed to addressing, on priority, all humanitarian matters, including those pertaining to prisoners and fishermen in each other’s country. In this context, India has also urged Pakistan to expedite necessary action at its end to confirm the nationality status of 82 Pakistani prisoners, including fishermen, whose repatriation is pending for want of nationality confirmation by Pakistan," it said.

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