In a special hotline contact established between the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan on Tuesday, the prevailing situation along the Line of Control and Working Boundary was reviewed. It was mutually agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders.
They agreed to fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit and to ensure that the ceasefire agreement will not be violated by both sides from now on. The officials also agreed that in case of any issue, restraint will be exercised and the matter will be resolved through utilisation of existing mechanisms of hotline contacts and border flag meetings at local commander’s level. Earlier, on Monday, India had conveyed to Pakistan the need for instituting a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for immediate release and repatriation of fishermen who inadvertently cross the international maritime boundary. The emphasis on the SOP was given during the talks between the Coast Guards of the two countries, where issues pertaining to boundary violations by fishermen and enhancing cooperation in the area of maritime search and rescue and combating pollution at sea, were discussed.
“A lot of focus of the meeting was on (violation of maritime boundary by) fishermen,” Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh had said, as per PTI. An official statement had said, “During the meeting, the Indian side reiterated the need for instituting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for immediate release and repatriation of the fishermen who cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) inadvertently as the issue needs to be approached in a humanitarian context.”
Several fishermen from both countries are languishing in each other’s jails.
The four-member delegation of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) was being led by its Director General Rear Admiral Zaka Ur Rehman. Rehman was accompanied by Director (Operations) of the PMSA, an official each from Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Two members – a defence attache and a political secretary – at the Pakistan High Commission had also participated in the talks. The high-level meeting was conducted under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two agencies in 2005.
A meeting between the two maritime security agencies was scheduled for October 2017, but was called off amid tension between India and Pakistan following the Kulbhushan Jadhav episode.
Jadhav, an Indian national and former navy officer, has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on the charges of alleged spying. India has denied the charges and approached the International Court of Justice against the sentence.