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Indian Navy fears militants could hijack a Pak Navy ship
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/4/2014 12:00:00 AM

 Admiral R.K. Dhowan

New Delhi: Indian Navy fears that militants could hijack a Pakistan Navy warship to target Indian interests at sea and along the coast.

Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan on Wednesday said it was serious issue that militants tried to hijack a Pakistan Navy warship, PNS Zulfiqar in September this year. “We have taken a serious note of this and the factored it in the security matrix”, Admiral Dhowan added.

Reports had suggested that militants were planning to use the hijacked ship to attack an American vessel or an Indian vessel.

The Navy Chief when asked if the Navy takes into account the possibility that there might be a Jihadi group on board when it encounters a Pakistani ship following the attack on PNS Zulfiqar, he said, “We are taking that aspect into account.” The Admiral was addressing the annual press conference here on the eve of Navy Day.

Out at sea, when officers on watch report to the Captain that we have a warship from another navy sailing close by…. the captain would tell the officer to wish him good morning because he is in international waters and so are you. Well, in this changed environment, we have to rethink. “We may not wish him good morning and actually carry out surveillance and figure out who he is,” the Navy Chief said.

Dhowan said the navy had inputs about certain aspects of terrorism in maritime domain which are increasing, “These are taken into account in our security apparatus,” he said.

Maritime security challenges have actually increased manifold, he referred to piracy and said that the world now has floating armies and armed guards on board merchant vessels.“We have inputs of various terrorist organisations which are out on sea,” he said, adding that one needs to understand the complexities of maritime security.

Pakistani Naval Ship PNS Zulfikar was attacked by militants

Talking about the risks at sea, the Navy Chief said that there are about 2.5 lakh Indian fishing boats at sea in a day, he said, “Anyone of them could carry a couple of guns, explosives and land in remote part of any of our islands.” India has 1,197 islands and a coastline of 7,615 kms.

Replying to a question if India would extend its interest in countries east of the Malacca straits, Admiral said our primary area of interest is Indian ocean region and our secondary area of interest is everywhere we have maritime interests. “We have shown our operational footprint as far east as Hawaii.  We have shown our readiness”.The primary area of interest can be defined but cannot be tethered to a particular distance. “Where ever we have maritime interest we will be there,” he said.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has been operating in Indian Ocean since 2008, Admiral Dhowan said while replying to a question if the presence of Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean were a cause of concern. “Its part of securing their maritime  interest,” he explained.


Indian Navy fears militants could hijack a Pak Navy ship


भारत डिफेंस कवच की नई हिन्दी पत्रिका ‘डिफेंस मॉनिटर’ का ताजा अंक ऊपर दर्शाया गया है। इसके पहले दस पन्ने आप मुफ्त देख सकते हैं। पूरी पत्रिका पढ़ने के लिए कुछ राशि का भुगतान करना होता है। पुराने अंक आप पूरी तरह फ्री पढ़ सकते हैं। पत्रिका के अंकों पर क्लिक करें और देखें। -संपादक

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