India denies Pak. claims of submarine intrusion

Updated - December 02, 2016 04:30 pm IST

Published - November 19, 2016 02:23 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Navy on Friday denied Pakistan’s claim that it had prevented Indian submarines from intruding into its territorial waters.

Navy spokesperson Captain D.K. Sharma said the navy did not carry out any underwater movement near Pakistan even though the Pakistan navy released footage of a submarine that was “blocked”.

"Indian Navy categorically denies the statement of Pakistani navy as blatant lies,” Captain Sharma said.

However, a statement issued by the Pakistani Navy claimed that it had detected Indian submarines on November 14 and 16. “Indian Navy has also deceitfully deployed its Submarines against Pakistan with ulterior motives. However, Pakistan Navy once again proved its vigilance and operational competence by detecting and blocking an Indian Submarine from entering in Pakistani waters,” said a statement from the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan.

Twitter video

Pakistan navy also took to Twitter and posted videos and photographs of Indian submarines. Significantly, the incident took place even as Pakistan and China are launching the fourth naval exercise near Gwadar port in Balochistan, which is vital for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China has sent the rescue vessel Changxingdao and PLA(N) ship Handan to Karachi for the exercise.

The exchange of words indicates the rising tension between New Delhi and Islamabad after both accused each other of ceasefire violations.

On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs had accused Pakistan forces of “violation of 2003 ceasefire agreement” and of targeting civilian villages in the border areas.

Though the war of words had begun with the Pathankot airbase attack of January 2 which escalated with the September 18 attack in Uri, this is the first time that a naval stand-off has been reported between two sides since January.

The government told Parliament on Wednesday that Pakistan had violated the ceasefire 369 times this year in Jammu & Kashmir until November 2.

The Pakistani claims of spotting Indian submarines close to its territorial waters is disconcerting, and is symbolic of the growing military acrimony between the two sides.

Underwater manoeuvres

Submarine manoeuvres underwater are fraught with real dangers. It is well known that both sides send submarines on patrols into each other’s waters, and both the navies are also perpetually trying to track and map the other’s submarines.

Given that deniability is extremely critical in submarine warfare, it was no surprise that Pakistan made such claims, and India denied it.

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