Pakistan says it has provided list of nuclear facilities to India under annual practice

By Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Pakistan said it had handed a list of its nuclear installations and facilities to the Indian mission in Islamabad on Sunday under a decades-old agreement between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

The neighbours have fought three wars and have had a number of military skirmishes in recent years. Last year an Indian missile accidentally landed in Pakistan, setting off alarm bells across the world.

"The list of nuclear installations and facilities in Pakistan was officially handed over to a representative of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today," Pakistan's foreign office said in a statement.

It said lists are exchanged annually on Jan 1 and that India had simultaneously handed over a list to the Pakistani mission in New Delhi. The practice has been in place since 1992.

India's External Affair's Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment.

With the help of China, Pakistan has recently increased its use of nuclear energy to meet rising demand for electricity. Pakistan first officially tested nuclear weapons in 1998 and has since developed a significant stockpile of nuclear capable missiles, as has India.

In a separate statement, Pakistan's foreign office said the two countries had also exchanged a list of each other's citizens held in prisons.

The list included 705 Indian prisoners detained in Pakistan, including 51 civilians and 654 fishermen, the statement said.

It added that the Indian government also shared with the Pakistani mission in New Delhi a list of 434 Pakistani prisoners in India, including 339 civilians and 95 fishermen.

Pakistan has requested the early release and repatriation of 51 of its civilian prisoners and 94 fishermen who have completed their sentences. A request for special consular access to 56 civil prisoners has also been made.

Fishermen from each country are often arrested when they stray into the other's waters.

The annual exchanges come at a time diplomatic ties between the two are near non-existent.

(Reporting by Gibran Peshimam; additional reporting by Manoj Kumar in New Delhi; Editing by Kim Coghill and Neil Fullick)