Facebook Twitter

India, Pakistan swap N-site lists

Count been going on for 11 years — India 10, Pakistan 6

SHARE India, Pakistan swap N-site lists

NEW DELHI, India — Despite the biggest buildup of troops along the border since their last war in 1971, India and Pakistan carried out a New Year's Day tradition of exchanging lists of nuclear facilities.

The list has been exchanged annually for 11 years under an agreement that prohibits the rivals from attacking each other's nuclear installations. The list includes civilian nuclear power plants and gives the exact location of each.

An Indian foreign ministry official told The Associated Press that India's list covers 10 nuclear installations and facilities and Pakistan's list has six.

In a New Year address, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said India was willing to resume dialogue with its longtime rival but said Pakistan must do more to halt attacks by Islamic militants in India.

Vajpayee and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf were both to attend a summit of regional leaders in Nepal this week, but there were no plans for a separate meeting between the two.

Indian police on Tuesday blamed Islamic militants for attacks that left six civilians and two soldiers dead in Jammu-Kashmir and neighboring Punjab state. Indian and Pakistani troops also exchanged heavy gunfire overnight in the disputed Kashmir region. No injuries were reported.

Border skirmishes in Kashmir are common, but India and Pakistan have mobilized troops all along their 1,100-mile frontier since a Dec. 13 suicide attack on the Indian Parliament, which India blamed on Pakistan militant groups it said were supported by Pakistan's intelligence agency.

With both the United States and India pressing Pakistan to rein in extremists, Indian officials said earlier this week that Pakistan-based Islamic militants who have fought a bloody insurgency against Indian forces in Kashmir for 12 years were lying low, carrying out few attacks.

More than a dozen Islamic militant groups have been waging a violent campaign in Kashmir since 1989, some seeking independence for Hindu-majority India's only mostly Muslim state and others seeking its merger with Muslim Pakistan. Tens of thousands of people have died.

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring the militants. Pakistan says it does not fund or train them and has no control over their actions in Kashmir.

Still, under pressure from the United States to crack down on extremists as part of the worldwide U.S.-led campaign against terrorism, Pakistan has frozen the assets of the two groups India blamed for the Parliament attack and arrested their leaders.

India called the arrests a step in the right direction but demanded Pakistan do more to halt attacks in Kashmir.

In his address, Vajpayee called on Pakistan to "take effective steps to stop cross-border terrorism."

After the Parliament attack, tens of thousands of troops have been moved to both sides of the border and shelling has escalated in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan also halted cross-border passenger rail, bus and air travel — although India on Tuesday made an exception to allow two Pakistan International Airlines flights to carry Pakistanis out of New Delhi and the southern port city of Bombay.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over Kashmir, which was divided between them after independence from Britain in 1947.

India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons in 1998, but both have said there is no chance their current dispute could escalate into a nuclear war.