The navy on Thursday downplayed apprehensions over an international naval exercise being organised by Pakistan in the Arabian Sea this week, terming it as a "normal maritime activity" every nation was entitled to.
"This is an exercise hosted by Pakistanis once in two years. And 16 nations are taking part in it. It is a normal maritime activity any nation is entitled to," Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff, told reporters at the sidelines of a conference organised by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF).
Pakistan is organising 'Aman-17' from February 10-14. Navies from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the joint exercise.
A day after the IL 38 Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft (LRMRA) carried out a successful Anti-Ship Missile firing on a target ship in the Arabian Sea, Lanba said, all the LRMRAs with the Indian Navy will now have the ability to take on any ship.
The LRMRAs are used for surveillances, especially to keep a track on hostile submarines.
The P-8I Boeing aircraft with the navy also has similar capabilities, the official said.
Speaking at the conference titled 'The Blue Economy', Lanba emphasised on the need for a suitable policy and a legal framework for the national and international level to address different aspects of the blue economy.
"Identify the differences between the existing national and international laws and policies which should be amended or modified to include tenants of blue economy. For instance, suitable safeguards (are necessary) for fisheries management so that the practice conforms to the tenants of the blue economy.
"Science-based approach is also necessary for the development of the blue economy," he said, adding that high international cooperation was imperative if the concept of the blue economy had to take roots.
Blue economy refers to the use of the sea and its resources for sustainable economic development.
"India has also been cooperating closely with a number of countries such as Mauritius, Seychelles, Bangladesh and Australia to implement and harness the concept of blue economy," the Navy Chief said.
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