The Pakistan Navy on Friday said it had prevented Indian Navy submarines from entering Pakistani territorial waters on Monday, November 14.
"The Indian Navy, in order to fulfil its nefarious designs, was deploying submarines. The Pakistan Navy, alert and using its extreme skill, prevented Indian submarines from entering Pakistani waters."
“The unsuspecting submarine was detected and localised south of Pakistani coast on Nov 14,” read the statement issued by Pakistan Navy.
"Navy fleet units detected the presence of Indian submarines in the southern parts of Pakistani waters, mimiced their behaviour and restricted their activity," the statement said.
The Pakistan Navy prevented the Indian submarines from being successful in their attempts to keep their presence a secret, the statement said, adding that the navy had constantly pursued the submarines and pushed them back.
"This is proof of Pakistan Navy's extremely skilled anti-submarine warfare units," the navy said.
"The Pakistan Navy is fully prepared to defend its borders and capable of responding to any aggression befittingly."
Vice Admiral (retd) Tasneem, a decorated war veteran and a submarine commander having the accolade of sinking Indian Navy's warship INS Khukri during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, said “the Indian submarine was detected 40 nautical miles off Pakistani coast”.
While talking to Dawn.com, Tasneem said that the Indian submarine “surfaced to periscope depth because it had probably exhausted its battery and had no other option but to surface and recharge its battery”.
“She was snorkelling, because she knew she had been detected. So there was no point of further exhausting the battery,” the ace Pakistani submarine commander said.
“The submarine was detected 40 nautical miles off the Pakistani coast in international waters and our naval assets detected and forced it back to 65 nautical miles,” said the war veteran.
As the date of the detection of Indian submarine coincides with the date of cargo ships leaving the Gwadar port under the recently accomplished CPEC pilot project, Tasneem was of the opinion that “the submarine had come for intelligence gathering purposes”.
“Intelligence gathering is a common practice, but the skill is not to get caught — like we did in our times,” he explained and laughed.
It is pertinent to mention that the Indian warship sunk by Pakistani submarine PNS Hangor in December 1971, commanded by then Commodore Tasneem, remains the Indian navy's only warship to be lost in war to date.
It was also the first warship sunk in action by a submarine since World War II.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up a drive to isolate Pakistan diplomatically after the Uri army base attack in September. Hours after the attack occurred, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed Pakistan a 'terrorist state' and accused Pakistan of involvement.
The Uri attack occurred days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was set to address the United Nations General Assembly regarding Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir.
Following the attack, India claimed it had conducted a cross-border 'surgical strike' against 'launch pads of terror' in Azad Jammu and Kashmir — a claim Pakistan has strongly rejected.
Since then, both countries have intermittently exchanged fire over the Line of Control, with seven Pakistan army soldiers becoming the latest in a series of casualties in the cross-fire confirmed by the Pakistan Army. Pakistan has lodged several protests with India over repeated violation of the ceasefire agreement and targeting of civilians and soldiers along the border in the past few weeks.
Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world's attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have, most recently, locked horns over Kashmir since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.