The Pakistan Navy detected an Indian submarine on Monday night trying to enter Pakistani waters and successfully thwarted the attempt, the Navy's spokesperson said on Tuesday — exactly a week after India's aerial violation of the Line of Control that sent tensions soaring between the two nuclear-armed states.
"The Pakistan Navy used its specialised skills to ward off the submarine, successfully keeping it from entering Pakistani waters," a statement from the spokesperson said.
This is the second time since 2016 that the Pakistan Navy has detected an Indian submarine trying to enter Pakistani waters. Pakistan territorial waters is 12 nautical miles while its seabed territory — the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) — grew to 290,000 square kilometres in 2015. EEZ signifies an area of coastal water and seabed within a certain distance of a country's coastline that cannot be entered without permission or prior information.
"The submarine was detected and localised in Pakistan’s maritime zone on March 4," said a statement by the director general of Navy's public relations. "The submarine could have been easily engaged and destroyed had it not been Pakistan’s policy to exercise restraint in the face of Indian aggression and to give peace a chance to prevail.
"However, the submarine is being kept under watch along with monitoring of other Indian navy units. The detected submarine is one of the latest submarines of Indian navy," added the statement.
Learning from this incident, India should also work towards peace, the statement added.
"This great feat is a testament of the Pakistan Navy's superior skills. The Navy will keep defending Pakistan's naval border. The force has the capability to respond to any aggression."
The latest provocation by India comes a week after the Indian Air Force (IAF) violated Pakistani airspace on February 26 following the Pulwama attack in Indian occupied Kashmir. The IAF returned unsuccessful after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) "immediately scrambled" its jets. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian aircraft released their payload "in haste" as they returned.
PAF the next day, on Feb 27, targeted non-military targets across the Line of Control to demonstrate Pakistan's aggressive capabilities, and shot down two Indian Air Force jets after they crossed the LoC.
An Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, was taken into captivity of Pakistan's armed forces. He was freed the next day and handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border. Prime Minister Imran Khan had termed his release as a "peace gesture" — a move lauded by people on both sides of the border as well as the international community that had urged restraint.
No such move or gesture for de-escalation, however, has been made by India so far.