New Delhi: Following the current state of hostility between India and Pakistan, high level talks between the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) have been cancelled, sources say.
The Coast Guard talks are an annual event and for this year’s round, the DG PMSA with a three-member delegation was supposed to visit India as the last meeting was held in Pakistan.
The meetings began as in 2003, the two governments decided to improve ‘coast guard to coast guard’ communication.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the same was signed in 2005 with a hot line was set up in 2006.
Tensions between the two neighbours escalated recently after a Pakistani Military court sentenced an Indian national, Kulbhushan Jadhav, on charges of espionage and subversive activities in Pakistan. Islamabad claims Jadhav to be an Indian spy, a charge categorically rejected by New Delhi.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj issued a stern warning to Pakistan, saying that Islamabad should be wary of taking such an extreme step as it could result in damaging the bilateral relations between the already hostile neighbours and vowed to go “out of the way” to save Jadhav amid an outrage in India.
Yesterday, Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale asked Pakistan to provide a certified copy of the chargesheet filed and the judgement given against Jadhav.
The Indian side also conveyed that it will appeal the order.