MV Suez: 'Diplomatic spat won’t impact talks'



New Delhi: India does not see the diplomatic row with Pakistan over taking freed cargo ship MV Suez to safety having an impact on their Foreign Secretary-level talks in Islamabad this week, government sources said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the MV Suez's 22-member crew, including six Indians, were on Sunday transferred to a Pakistani warship when the Egyptian merchant vessel

The two countries were locked in a nasty spat yesterday and lodged protests against each other over their naval warships allegedly resorting to 'risky' and 'dangerous' manoeuvres after the hijacked Egyptian-owned merchant vessel was freed by Somali pirates.

The sources while discounting the possibility of the war of words having a fallout on the talks on June 24-25 also said India is a "more grown up country".

The remark came when the sources was asked why India lodged its formal protest a day after Pakistan did so over the alleged incident on Thursday involving INS Godavari and PNS Babur. Six Indians and four Pakistanis were among the 22-member crew.

Pakistan alleged that INS Godavari had carried out a "dangerous" manoeuvre in which it "brushed" its warship and called the incident serious. The Pakistani allegation was dismissed by India as incorrect and based on wrong information.

The Indian Defence Ministry also handed over pictures to Ministry of External Affairs which would help it substantiate charges that it was PNS Babur which had indulged in "risky" manoeuvres against INS Godavari that would have jeopardised the safety of its crew.

Sources said the Defence Ministry has handed over pictures of the incident which would help it prove that it was the Pakistani ship that had flouted relevant regulations on navigational safety by indulging in "risky" manoeuvres.

PTI