India-Pak to discuss Sir Creek issue, says naval officer

India and Pakistan will discuss the issue of Sir Creek at the forthcoming Foreign Minister level talks between the two countries, a senior naval officer on Friday said.

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 23:44 PM IST

New Delhi: India and Pakistan will discuss
the issue of Sir Creek at the forthcoming Foreign Minister
level talks between the two countries, a senior naval officer
on Friday said.

Talks on Sir Creek issue would begin in July between
the two sides (India-Pakistan), Vice Admiral B R Rao, India`s
Chief Hydrographer, told reporters.
Describing the issue as one of the "easily deliverable"
subjects before the Foreign Minister level talks between the
two countries in July, Rao said they would be preceded by a
meeting between the Aditional Secretary-rank officer of the
Surveyor General of India and his Pakistani counterpart.

"Major problem area is Sir Creek, horizontal sector and
the maritime boundary issues are not major problems... I am
confident that at least maritime boundary we will be able to
come to some solution. It is one of the easily deliverable
topics," he said.

He further added that in 2008 when the two sides had
discussed the issue and exchanged maps on the continental
shelf, "Pakistan had agreed that maritime boundary could be
easily resolved. But they insisted on including all the three
zones- maritime boundary, horizontal sector and Sir Creek
together."

Talked about India`s maritime boundary dispute with
Bangladesh which is pending with the International Court of
Justice (ICJ), he said, "Surprisingly, Bangladesh raised the
issue in ICJ in 2009, while it singed 50 MoUs with India on
bilateral co-operations," he said.
So far, India has settled boundary issues with all its
maritime neighbours like Sri Lanka, Mayanmar, Thailand,
Indonesia and Maldives. But the Sir Creek issue with Pakistan
and maritime dispute with Bangladesh are pending for the last
seven decades.

While India and Pakistan have made considerable
progress over the issue and exchanged a number of maps in
2008, Bangladesh decided to file a legal suit in the ICJ.

PTI