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    Indian Coast Guard vessel (File)

    India, Pakistan Hold Maritime Dialogue After Two Years

    © AFP 2019 / SAM PANTHAKY
    Asia & Pacific
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    The annual meeting is a significant link between the maritime agencies of India and Pakistan 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.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — After a gap of two years, India and Pakistan held a successful maritime dialogue on Monday, indicating a positive development in the ongoing efforts to resolve thorny issues and reinstate normalcy in relations.

    READ MORE: India, Pakistan Exchange Lists of Prisoners Under 2008 Consular Access Accord

    The two South Asian neighbors have decided to speed up the process of repatriating each other's fishermen and undertaking search and rescue missions with close co-ordination.

    The two countries have also decided to jointly fight oil spill disasters or pollution on the high seas.

    On Monday, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) director General Rajendra Singh and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) chief Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman met in New Delhi to discuss a range of issues.

    "The two sides will now stay in regular contact and expeditiously exchange information on maritime boundary violations and nabbing of each other's fishing boats through the existing hotline between the ICG and PMSA headquarters, instead of merely talking once a week on Wednesday. The Indian side stressed this issue needs to be addressed on humanitarian grounds," a statement issued by the Indian Coast Guard read.

    READ MORE: Pakistan to Release 439 Indian Fishermen To Reduce Tensions with India

    The high-level meeting was conducted under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two agencies in 2005. The annual meeting was not held last year following former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav's conviction in Pakistan over the allegation of spying. India has denied the charges against Jadhav and approached the International Court of Justice over the sentence. 


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