India and Pakistan resume maritime security dialogue

• Head of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman arrived in India to hold annual maritime dialogue with his Indian counterpart Director General of Coast Guard Rajender Singh.

• The annual maritime dialogue between the two coastal security agencies could not take place last year after India decided to put a hold on the talks due to the diplomatic unease caused by death sentence awarded to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistani military court.

• This year India sent an invitation to Pakistan to attend the annual maritime dialogue.

==>Highlights

• During the meeting, also attended by officials from defence ministry and external affairs ministry, Indian side reiterated the need for instituting Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for immediate release and repatriation of the fishermen who cross the international maritime boundary line inadvertently.

• Both sides also agreed to conduct search and rescue communications exercise between the Rescue Coordination Centres to validate the SOPs for the efficient conduct of rescue of distressed vessels or crew at sea.

• Both sides also agreed to collaborate for preservation and protection of marine environment and to explore opportunities for cooperation in the field of oil spill response at sea in line with the MoU signed by India with the South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme.

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