India pulls out from multilateral maritime security event in Pakistan

India pulls out from multilateral maritime security event in Pakistan
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NEW DELHI - New Delhi pulled out of a multilateral Asian coast guard event in Islamabad, reported by Times of India.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG), which protects the country’s offshore wealth while being responsible for enforcement of maritime laws, was due to participate in the event on October 24-25 with participants from 13 countries.

The Indian ministry of external affairs earlier had sought and acquired visas for top ICG officers including Director General Rajendra Singh from Pakistan . However, the Indian defence ministry decided at the last moment that this was not the right time for an Indian security agency to participate in any event in Pakistan at a high level, said the report.

“ICG did not participate in the event and I have nothing more to say about it,” said ICG spokesperson RK Singh.

Putting all bilateral exchanges with Pakistan on hold in reaction to a military court’s verdict sentencing Kulbhushan Jadhav to death, New Delhi had called off another maritime security meet, which was due to held on April 17 this year.

The ICG and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2005, which envisaged collaboration between the two through an exchange of information on exclusive economic zone violations, apprehended vessels, marine pollution, natural disasters, and calamities.

The agreement extended for five years in 2016 – sought to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and piracy, smuggling and coordination in search and rescue and return sea passage. The last session of talks between Pakistan and India over maritime security took place during July 2016 in Islamabad.

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