‘Chinese submarine in Pakistan not immediate concern’

Kolkata, June 30 (IANS) Navy vice chief Vice Admiral P. Murugesan on Tuesday said the recent docking of a Chinese submarine in a Pakistani port was not a matter of ‘immediate concern’.

A Chinese Yuan class 335 submarine docked at Pakistan’s Karachi port on May 22, barely days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden official visit to China.

“Docking of a submarine of another country in a third country itself is not a big concern, but we do monitor them,” Murugesan told media persons at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) here.

“Our crafts are also in the China Sea; the army or the air force can’t go to some other country without raising eyebrows. But navy ships and submarines can go. Our submarines too dock in foreign countries.

“We are like ambassadors, we can go to any country, stay 10-12 miles outside the territorial limits for any amount of time. So the docking issue is not an immediate threat,” said Murugesan.

Murugesan also refused to read much into the growing cooperation between the Chinese and Pakistani navies.

“Their (China-Pakistan) naval cooperation is not an immediate concern for us but we always monitor interactions between the navies in our neighbourhood. Our navy is quite strong to counter any kind of challenges emerging from such cooperation.

“We too have such cooperation with numerous countries. But we monitor such situations, brief the authorities concerned and take precautionary measures which are part of the ongoing naval process,” said the Navy vice chief.

Lauding the indigenous capability of shipyards in the country, Murugesan asserted that the Indian navy was strong enough to counter any kind of emerging threats.

“Whatever maritime threat is building up against India’s interests, we are carefully monitoring them. It’s not the Navy alone; various agencies are also there in the country who monitor and carefully carry out certain decisions which are not immediately available.

“One ship or craft going to some other country’s port is not an immediate threat,” asserted Murugesan.

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