To avert military confrontations on high seas, India [ Images ] and Pakistan are discussing the establishment of a mechanism of direct contact between the navies of the two countries.
The mechanism could involve a communication system like hotline between senior officers of the two navies akin to that between the armies.
"These are issues we are discussing and certainly with respect to Pakistan, it forms part of the discussion between the two foreign ministries which is the protocol to prevent incidents at sea," Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma told media persons in New Delhi [ Images ].
The development comes in the backdrop of incidents involving Pakistan Naval Ship Babur and INS Godavari where the former had brushed the Indian warship without any provocation in the Gulf of Aden last year.
The Navy Chief was asked about the progress made by India in establishing such a protocol with China for avoiding conflicts on high seas.
Admiral Verma said, "With China, this is something which would be in place when we have requirements to talk to each other."
India and Chinese warships have also been reportedly involved in difficult situations as last year in South China Sea INS Airavat was asked by the Chinese Navy to leave the maritime area.
Asked about the need for having Confidence Building Measures with Chinese Navy as their aircraft carriers would also soon operate in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Verma said the two navies were cooperating in the Gulf of Aden and the issue was "out of place".
Asked about the American plans to re-balance the Asia Pacific region by deployment of naval warships, the Navy Chief said there was "nothing on the cards" about the deployment of Indian assets.
"Our primary area of interest extends from the Malacca Straits to the Gulf on the west and down south up to the Cape of Good Hope. This is the area where we would like to do much more than what we are doing today", Admiral Verma said.
"Pacific and South China sea are of concern to the global community but in terms of actual deployments on our side, it is not on the cards as I think there is a lot of unfinished business as far as IOR (Indian Ocean Region) is concerned," he said.
The Admiral also said that India can think of moving out of its area of interest only once it is done with its agenda there.
Commenting on the US' re-balancing plans, he said, "We don't want a situation where something happens in South China Sea which upsets global shipping because it is going to have impact on everybody. And I do believe there are efforts on from major powers to calibrate efforts so that such a situation does not arise."
The Navy Chief said all the players involved in the region know that the kind of "havoc" such hostilities can play in the area and hoped that no steps would be taken by them towards such a situation.