NEW DELHI: All Indian Navy ships have been “steaming around” India’s coasts and its islands in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, according to a Press release of the Defence Wing of India’s Press Information Bureau.

These ships, the release said, have been keeping “a constant and round-the-clock” vigil on seas away from public gaze.

It does not explain why all these ships have been kept on alert in peaceful days, but says they have been in that position since Oct 20 last year when the Naval headquarters in New Delhi flashed an alert signal, ordering all Naval ships to be in their “full operational garb”. The order, it adds, had overnight transformed the tenor of activities in ships and shore centres, a fact not widely known.

After the order, the release said, with “all stations manned, guns and torpedoes loaded and a radar scanning ceaselessly, ships from different ports sailed to their respective stations on the wide expanse of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Theirs was the task, it said, to “guard the 3,000-mile-long coastline as well as ports and harbours of country’s imports and exports against any enemy threat”. Who is or was the enemy which threatened India’s coast from the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea is not explained. Obviously, the reference cannot be to China because of that country’s geographical position. The question then is whether it is Pakistan against whom this “vigil” is being organised. Correspondent

Threat is real, says Minister

KARACHI: Mr A.T.M. Mustafa, Central Education and Information Minister, said in Karachi yesterday that the “neo-imperialism” of India was spreading its “tentacles” and posed a serious threat to all the smaller neighbours.

The Minister, who was asked to comment on the latest design of the Indian Government to merge the occupied part of Kashmir with Indian territory, described it as the “depth of treachery”. He said that the Security Council resolutions were there and India as a member of the United Nations was committed to honouring those resolutions.

Mr Mustafa, who stayed here for a day, said that the threat of Indian imperialism was “very real”.

Mr Mustafa reiterated that we wanted to live in peace with all, but declared that in the event of “aggression against us, we shall face it with the calm confidence of a people who know their own worth and the worth of a bully”.

In reply to a question on the mass eviction of Indian Muslims from the Indian states of Assam and Tripura, the Minister said “India is violating all canons of morality, justice and all the principles of law in evicting its own citizens”. — Agencies

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