Coast Guards of India, Pak hold talks, focus on maritime boundary violations by fishermen

Coast Guards of India and Pakistan today held talks, addressing issues pertaining to boundary violations by fishermen from both sides and enhancing cooperation in the area of maritime search and rescue, and combating pollution at sea.

"A lot of focus of the meeting was on (violation of maritime boundary by) fishermen," Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh said.

"Focus of the talks was also on cooperation in the area of search and rescue operations and cooperation in the field of (maritime) pollution," he added.

The four-member delegation of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) is being led by its Director General Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman.

Rehman was accompanied by Director Operations of the PMSA, an official each from Pakistan's Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Two members -- a defence attache and a political secretary -- at the Pakistan High Commission here also participated in the talks.

The high-level meeting was conducted under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two agencies in 2005.

A meeting between the two maritime security agencies was scheduled for October last year, but it was called off amid tension between India and Pakistan following the Kulbhushan Jadhav episode.

Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national and former navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on the charges of alleged spying. India has denied the charges and approached the International Court of Justice against the sentence.

"This annual meeting is a significant link between the two maritime agencies for addressing issues pertaining to maritime boundary violations by fishermen and enhancing cooperation in the domain of maritime search and rescue and marine environment pollution.

"The two service heads from Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan MSA also have a hotline link between them for regular exchange of information on non-military maritime issues as per the MoU between the two governments," a statement by the Indian Coast Guard said.

The Pakistani delegation will be in India till May 30.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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