India and Pakistan whipped up a diplomatic row on Saturday — days ahead of foreign secretary-level talks between the two sides in Islamabad on June 24-25.
Close on the heels of Islamabad protesting that an Indian warship obstructed a Pakistani naval ship escorting an Egyptian merchant vessel freed by Somali pirates, New Delhi dismissed the complaint as “totally baseless” and lodged a protest with Pakistan citing the violation or norms by Pakistan Naval Ship (PNS) Babur.
In a statement on India launching a protest to Pakistan, ministry of external affairs said the Pakistan naval ship, PNS Babur by its “risky manoeuvres jeopardised the safety of INS Godavari and its crew.”
New Delhi said PNS Babur violated regulations on navigational safety as contained in the ‘International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea’ and Article 10 of the ‘Agreement between India-Pakistan on Advance Notice on Military Exercises, Manoeuvres and Troops Movements 1991’.
Pakistan’s foreign office on Friday lodged a formal protest and said its frigate PNS Babar was brushed past by INS Godavari.
Pakistan said INS Godavari “hampered humanitarian operations” carried out by PNS Babar June 16 while escorting the MV Suez in the Gulf of Aden.
This incident constitutes a serious violation of international regulations pertaining to safe conduct at high seas and of the India-Pakistan agreement of 1991 on advance notice of military exercise manoeuvres and troop movement, Pakistan said.