According to the Indian naval chief the foreign ministers from both India and Pakistan will meet in near future, to discuss about the creation of a mechanism to avoid high sea standoffs. Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy said to the journalists in Delhi that the meeting was necessitated by recent incidents involving the naval vessels of both India and Pakistan, in the Arabian Sea.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that a direct communication system is likely to be constructed, linking the senior Pakistani naval officials with their Indian counterparts. The Indian Navy is also taking up meetings with the Chinese naval officials, as China is looking forward to expand its naval operations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
The latest development comes in the background of the 13th round of talks between the defence secretaries of India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Siachin, which once again ended without a consensus. The talks, held between the Indian defence secretary Shashikant Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Nargis Sethi, were held in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad two months ago.
Last year, an Indian naval vessel was involved in a mid-sea standoff with one of the Pakistani warships. INS Godavari, the guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy was damaged in an incident which involved the Pakistani Type 21 frigate, PNS Babur. The Pakistani vessel was escorting an Egyptian cargo ship, MV Suez in the Gulf of Aden region. One of the helicopter nets in the Indian vessel got damaged, when the Pakistani frigate moved too close to it. The Indian Navy has claimed that the damaging of the equipment was deliberate, while the Pakistani Navy has maintained that it was purely accidental.
The naval forces of both India and Pakistan are currently undergoing expansions, with the induction a number of new vessels to their fleet. The Indian Navy expects its second aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya to be fully operational by the end of this year. Pakistan Navy had recently inducted PNS Azmat, its new Fast Attack Craft (FAC).