ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: The governments of Pakistan and India exchanged on Tuesday lists of nuclear installations and facilities under Article 2 of a bilateral agreement prohibiting attacks on nuclear installations.

This was stated by Foreign Office spokesman Aziz Ahmed Khan at his daily news briefing. He said the article required the two sides to furnish their updated lists of nuclear installations on Jan 1 every year.

He said that the information had just been received and he was not in a position to say whether there had been any change from the last year’s list.

The spokesman welcomed Indian prime minister’s newspaper article expressing his willingness to resume high-level talks with Islamabad, saying that was what Pakistan had always desired, resolution of all issues including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir through peaceful negotiations across the table.

Pakistan hoped that the prevailing tension between the two countries would be contained through negotiations and peaceful means and such an opportunity existed at Kathmandu where the leaders of the two countries would attend the Saarc summit scheduled to open on Jan 4, he added.

The spokesman said it would be known soon whether the foreign ministers of the two countries would establish contact at Kathmandu as proposed by New Delhi. Pakistan had already welcomed the proposed move. It would be wrong to suggest that Islamabad was anti-India; otherwise President Musharraf would not have travelled to Agra for peace talks with the Indian prime minister, he said and hoped that through diplomacy the current situation could be contained should the Indian side come forward.

Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, DG ISPR (defence), who was also present at the press briefing, said that Pakistan would give priority to counter the military threat which was being reinforced, in its strategy to guard national borders.

He, however, declined to elaborate military preparedness to meet the offensive. India had announced deployment of

its missiles but Pakistan would not want in its own security interest to say where and how many missiles the country had deployed.

Gen Qureshi said that Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan was completely sealed and Osama bin Laden would be arrested as soon as he was spotted. He said Islamabad did not give credence to conflicting reports about Osama being seen at different places in the country.

LIST OF WANTED MEN: The Indian government has provided a list of 20 wanted persons to the Government of Pakistan, who it said were involved in terrorist activities, the spokesman said, adds PPI.

He said that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had given a list of 20 ‘wanted persons’ to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Monday, with a request that they be arrested and handed over to India.

He said the Indian government had not provided any evidence which could establish that they (the wanted persons) had been involved in terrorist activities.

He said if India provided concrete evidence, the Pakistan government would take action against them.

When asked whether Pakistan would hand over Lashkar-i-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed to

India, Gen Qureshi said the Lashkar leader had been arrested for creating law and order situation.

When asked whether Pakistan would also hand over a similar list of Indian persons wanted to it, the DG ISPR said investigation was being carried out into the huge quantity of arms recently seized in Quetta.

He said according to preliminary investigations, the ammunition was supposed to be used for terrorist activities and some foreign hand was involved in it.

However, he made it clear that we believed in evidence and if some link was established of involvement of India in that case “we will provide a list of those persons to New Delhi”.

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