Maritime issues discussed with India

May 11, 2005

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RAWALPINDI, May 10: Maritime officials of Pakistan and India on Tuesday underscored the need for establishing a communication link to exchange information on boats engaging in illegal fishing in each other’s areas. A statement issued after a meeting between the two sides said they expressed the desire to exchange information between the Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency and the Indian Coastguard.

Such a link would also facilitate both sides in sharing information relating to search and rescue at sea, natural calamities, smuggling and drug trafficking, the statement said.

Further discussion on the subject will take place on Wednesday.

The Indian delegation was led by Indian Coastguard Director-General Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh and the Pakistani delegation by MSA Director-General Rear Admiral Bakhtiar Mohsin.

Earlier, the Indian delegation called on Additional Secretary, Defence, Rear Admiral Ahsanul Haq Chaudhri.

The additional secretary told the visiting delegation that interaction between maritime officials of the two countries would help push forward the process of confidence-building measures, the statement said.

He emphasized the need for a rapid exchange of information by the agencies concerned of both the countries on issues like illegal fishing and natural disasters.

The Director General of Indian Coastguard said cooperation between the two sides regarding sharing of information could play a significant role in avoiding a colossal damage caused by natural disasters like cyclones and the recent tsunamis.