India denies obstructing Pakistani warship (Second Lead)

June 18th, 2011 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Islamabad, June 18 (IANS) India Saturday denied that its warship obstructed a Pakistani naval ship two days ago when the latter was escorting an Egyptian vessel released by Somali pirates.

Indian government sources said in New Delhi that the reports of aggression by Indian frigate INS Godavari in the Gulf of Aden were “incorrect and based on misinformation”.

The sources indicated that Pakistan, which lodged a protest with the Indian High Commission in Islamabad over the alleged obstruction Thursday of its ship, was spreading a canard against India.

Pakistan’s foreign office Friday lodged a formal protest and said that its frigate PNS Babar was brushed past by INS Godavari.

Pakistan claimed that INS Godavari “hampered humanitarian operations” carried out by PNS Babur June 16 while escorting the MV Suez with 22 men, including six Indians, to Oman.

That apart, the Pakistan foreign office spokesperson said that the Indian warship also “undertook dangerous manoeuvres”.

“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 movement,” the Pakistani spokesperson said.

MV Suez, hijacked by Somali pirates, was released June 13 after nearly 10 months. Its 22 crew included six Indians, 11 Egyptians, four Pakistanis and one Sri Lankan.

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