India, Pak discussing ways to avert conflict on high seas
New Delhi: To avert military confrontations on high seas, India and Pakistan are discussing the establishment of a mechanism of direct contact between the navies of the two countries.
The mechanism could involve a communication system like hotline between senior officers of the two navies akin to that between the armies.
"These are issues we are discussing and certainly with respect to Pakistan, it forms part of the discussion between the two foreign ministries which is the protocol to prevent incidents at sea," Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told reporters here.
The development comes in the backdrop of incidents involving Pakistan Naval Ship Babur and INS Godavari where the former had brushed the Indian warship without any provocation in the Gulf of Aden last year.
The Navy Chief was asked about the progress made by India in establishing such a protocol with China for avoiding conflicts on high seas.
Admiral Verma said, "With China, this is something which would be in place when we have requirements to talk to each other."
India and Chinese warships have also been reportedly involved in difficult situations as last year in South China Sea INS Airavat was asked by the Chinese Navy to leave the maritime area.
Asked about the need for having Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with Chinese Navy as their aircraft carriers would also soon operate in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Verma said the two navies were cooperating in the Gulf of Aden and the issue was "out of place".