In the backdrop of the horrific bombings on their friendship train, India and Pakistan Wednesday signed an agreement to reduce the risk of nuclear accidents. This is a welcome development in an area described as a nuclear flashpoint by some Western experts.
Indian and Pakistani officials signed an agreement on “Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons” in the presence of Foreign Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri at Hyderabad House on Wednesday, reports The Hindu.
“Under the agreement, the two sides have committed to notifying each other immediately in the event of any accident relating to nuclear weapons, which could create the risk of a radioactive fallout or create the risk of an outbreak of a nuclear war between the two countries.
“Both parties also agreed that they would use hotline links between Foreign Secretaries or Directors-General of Military Operations to share “urgent information” in the event of an accident. The agreement, which will remain in force for five years, may be extended for successive periods of five years at a time.”
Meanwhile the ‘Friendship Express’ between the Pakistani city of Lahore and the Indian Capital New Delhi has resumed its run. The twice-weekly cross-border train – one of only two rail links between India and Pakistan – was restarted in 2004 after a two-year gap as part of the peace process.
Th train has a great significance for the relatives of those who for years could not meet following the division of India and Pakistan when the British left India in 1947, and millions of refugees crossed the borders on either side.
For comprehensive and detailed studies on “Nuclear Issues in India and Pakistan:
Selected Internet Resources…Statements and position papers” from the Library, University of California, Berkeley, please click here.