Pak maritime agency, Indian Coast Guard to hold talks in April

From Sajjad Hussain Islamabad, Mar 30 (PTI) A meeting between Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and Indian Coast Guard will be held next month in New Delhi, the Foreign Office here announced today. This would be the second meeting between officials of India and Pakistan after their interaction at the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) meet here last week amid the chill in ties following a series of terror attacks in India carried out by Pakistan-based terror groups. "The meeting between the Indian Coast Guard and Pakistan maritime agency will be held from April 16-19, 2017, in New Delhi," Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said. Indian Coast Guard sources said the two sides will discuss maritime issues, including the fishermen issue, apart from cooperation in search and rescue operations. The visit is part of the MoU signed between the two maritime security agencies in 2006. Last July, a three-member delegation of the Indian Coast Guard, headed Director General Rajendra Singh, had visited Pakistan to discuss maritime issues between the two countries. "This will be a reciprocal visit by a delegation of PMSA headed by their DG," a senior Coast Guard official said. The announcement of the meeting between the two sides comes after the arrest of fishermen of the two countries by each other's maritime forces for inadvertently trespassing into each other's waters. More than 100 Indian fishermen were arrested and 19 of their boats seized on Sunday by Pakistan for allegedly fishing in their territorial waters off Gujarat coast. The PMSA arrested the fishermen and seized the boats off Jakhau coast in Kutch district. The PMSA had earlier this month also apprehended 115 fishermen and seized 19 boats. Also this month, the Indian Coast Guard captured nine Pakistani nationals along with a fishing boat off Jakhau coast. Last month, the BSF had apprehended four abandoned Pakistani fishing boats near Sir Creek in Kutch district, while on January 27, the Pakistani maritime agency had arrested 60 Indian fishermen and seized 10 boats.
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