India-Pakistan Current Affairs

Thar Link Express receives extension for three more years

India and Pakistan have extended agreement of Thar Link Express, second solitary rail service between both countries for three more years i.e. till 2021. The Thar Express links Jodhpur (India) and Karachi (Pakistan) via Munabao (Rajasthan)-Khokhrapar (Sindh province) border crossing and carries only passengers.

Thar Link Express is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly by Indian Railway using its own coaches and locomotives, between Jodhpur and Munabao. Passengers from Munabao clear customs and are transported to across border to Zero Point station where Thar Express takes passengers to Karachi, Pakistan.

Background

The agreement to link the two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 to facilitate people-to-people contact. It was set to expire in March 2018, but has now been extended to January 31, 2021.  The Munabao-Khokhrapar link was destroyed during 1965 war between two countries but the service was again revived after 41 years in February 2006.

India and Pakistan Rail service

India and Pakistan currently have only two trans-border trains. They are

  • Samjhauta Express: Operates on Delhi-Lahore route via Attari-Wagah border crossing. It carries both passengers and freight.
  • Thar Express: It links Jodhpur (India) and Karachi (Pakistan) via Munabao-Khokhrapar border crossing. It carries only passengers.

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India and Pakistan exchange list of nuclear sites for 27th consecutive year

India and Pakistan have exchanged list of their nuclear installations and facilities with each other under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations. This is the 27th consecutive exchange of such list between two countries after first list was exchanged on 1 January 1992.

This is an annual exchange of conducted in 1st January between them to prevent them from attacking each other’s nuclear facilities. The exchange is part of an agreement between the two nuclear-armed neighbours meant to prevent attacks on nuclear facilities by each other.

Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations

It is a bilateral agreement signed between India and Pakistan that bars them from carrying out any surprise attack (or to assist foreign power to attack) on each other’s nuclear installations and facilities. It was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. It was signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto. Under it, both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.

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