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Pak protests 'brushing' of Indian warship with its frigate

world Updated: Jun 18, 2011 01:44 IST

Pakistan on Friday lodged a protest with the Indian government over an incident in which an Indian warship allegedly brushed with a Pakistani frigate escorting MV Suez, an Egyptian owned ship that was recently freed by Somali pirates after the payment of ransom.

The protest was lodged through the Indian High Commission in Islamabad over the "serious incident" that occurred on Thursday, said a statement issued by foreign office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua.

The Indian Navy warship Godavari "not only hampered humanitarian operations being carried out by Pakistan Navy Ship Babur for Merchant Vessel Suez but also undertook dangerous manoeuvres, which resulted in the brushing of the sides" of the two warships, the statement alleged.

"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 Movements," the statement claimed.

"The Indian government has been asked to ensure non-recurrence of such incidents," the statement said.

PNS Babur is escorting and assisting MV Suez, which was released by Somali pirates earlier this week after over two million dollars was paid as ransom for its 22-member crew, including four Pakistanis and six Indians.

Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney, who played a key role in negotiations with the pirates for the release of MV Suez, said that the ship's crew members will be repatriated to their respective countries by June 20.

Besides the Indians and Pakistanis, the crew includes a Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians.