Special Correspondent

PANAJI: The Indian Coast Guard and the Maritime Security Agency of Pakistan will set up a hotline soon as part of increasing cooperation for surveillance at sea between the two neighbours. Stating this at the commissioning of ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, a fast patrol vessel, at Vasco in South Goa on Friday, Director-General of Coast Guard Prabhakaran Paleri, said: "We have signed an MoU with the Maritime Security Agency of Pakistan so that we can cooperate with each other in ensuring safety of mariners and fishermen and also fight together against law breakers and drug traffickers at sea."

He said in its bid to counter the increase in maritime crimes, the Indian Coast Guard was cooperating with Japan, Korea, Maldives, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, UAE, Philippines and Vietnam in addition to having close relations with the Sri Lankan Navy.

GSL's offer

Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) Rear Admiral A.K. Handa reiterated GSL's offer to the Coast Guard to be a partner in its modernisation plans.

In another ceremony at GSL yard on Friday, an AOPV ICGS Sankalpa was launched by Susheela Paleri, wife of Prabhakaran Paleri.The XFPV ICGS Savitri Bai Phule was launched by Uma Vadgaokar, wife of Flag Officer Goa Area Rear Admiral S.M. Vadgaokar, Goa Naval Area.