India is believed to have cancelled the dialogue between its coast guard and that of Pakistan, in the wake of heightened tension between the neighbours after the Pulwama terror attack. The decision is in line with India's stance that terror and talks cannot go together.
The annual maritime dialogue was scheduled for 6 to 9 March. Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh was supposed to visit the talks, ANI reported.
The dialogue between the coast guards of the two is part of the 2005 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) India and Pakistan had signed. Under the MoU, a hotline link was also set up between the heads of Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) to exchange information on non-military maritime subjects. This is along the lines of the hotline between the director generals of military operations of the two countries.
India and Pakistan had held their last maritime dialogue after a two-year gap in May 2018. A Pakistani delegation had visited India to discuss ways to end the suffering of fishermen who cross sea borders and also reduce pollution and handle disasters.
The last meeting between the Indian Coast Guard and PMSA before the talks in May 2018 was in July 2016. India had cancelled the annual maritime dialogue in 2017 due to the diplomatic tension caused by a Pakistani military court awarding a death sentence to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav after convicting him on espionage charges.
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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2019 14:59:36 IST