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India, Pak Coast Guards to set up hotline

The hotline is aimed at increasing cooperation at sea between both countries.
None | By Press Trust of India
PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2006 04:17 PM IST

The Coast Guards of India and Pakistan will set up within a month, a hotline aimed at increasing cooperation at sea between both countries, Director General Coast Guard Prabhakaran Paleri, said on Friday.

"The MoU is already established between both the neighbours and it envisages communication between both the countries to increase confidence. Setting up a hotline connecting Director Generals of Coast Guards of both the countries is part of confidence-building measures," Paleri said after commissioning ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a fast patrol vessel, at Vasco.

The DG said that large number of fishermen from both countries had difficulties in identifying the maritime boundary.

"Especially, traditional fishermen face lot of difficulties in identifying the border. Setting up of hotline will enable DGs of both the countries to be in direct touch with each other and solve the issues before they escalate," Paleri said.

When asked about Pakistan's recent claim about killing of their fishermen in Indian waters, Paleri said, "there was an accident in which a Pakistan fisherman was killed by Indian Navy. Normally, there is firing when movement of ship is suspicious. We understand Pakistan's concern."

Paleri said that Indian coast guard is educating fishermen and their families on safety at sea.

"For last five years, we have been holding regular interactions. We also train them to protect themselves from weather mishaps," he said.

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