PANIC gripped Indian flotilla on Oct 7 when an imaginary Pakistan naval instrusion was tried to stage managed, but international agencies, monitoring such reports diligently and an in full focus rubbished the idea in their respective reports, which are now in our possion, and Comedy or errors , even if done unwittingly does provide moments of laughter, but if intended to malign a country by pointing an accusing finger with a view to paint your enemy black, especially in military field, it Is bound to be taken a very serious notice of. Indian media, always in a state of frenzy and keen to portray Pakistan enemy number one to the outside, is driven by madness sometime and has more often that has t0 be embasses.
It doe not know then where to look to, That exactly happened in two of the two case last month, when Indian media on 7 Oct reported an anti-piracy operation by Indian Navy Talwar class frigate which thwarted an attempted pirate attack on an Indian bulk carrier MV Jag Amar in the Gulf of Aden, The crew aboard the vessel noticed a Small suspicious boat approaching, and on raising the alarm, a nearby Indian navy ship came to aid and foiled the attempted piracy.
The naval ship chased down and boarded the pirate vessel, whereupon their weaponry and related piracy paraphernalia were confiscated. The luckless pirates were then released to go on their way. Afterwards was claimed to be the third successful Indian counter piracy incident in the past six months.
Despite claiming high laurels in domestic media, the outspokenness of incident become dubious as the incident actually didn’t happen and not confirmed by at least the United Kingdom Maritime Trade operations (UKMTO).The UKMTO is a Royal Navy capability with the principal purpose of providing an information conduit between military which includes security forces) and the wider international maritime trade. UKMTO delivers timely maritime security information, often acting as the primary point of contact for merchant vessels involved in maritime incidents or travelling within an area of high risk (HRA). Furthermore, all information received by UKMTO is strictly controlled in a secure information system and recognises that the source and content of the information is often sensitive.
The UKMTO is therefore a trusted source which monitors the maritime security situation in the Indian ocean region, keeping a tally of security related incidents. Another source of information is the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre that tries to keep track of piracy incident around the globe. Both these sources combined provide a fairly comprehensive picture af the regional maritime security situation, therefore, can judge the veracity of any reported piracy related incidents UKMTO didn’t verify this Indian anti-piracy incident and so it became doubtable point of interest.
The obvious attempt was to create an artificial crisis that Pakistan navy boat, tried an attack neighouring State naval flotilla. A hulla bulloo ws natural,. Panic spread though Indian sailors. Resources were mobilized to beat back the Pakistan attack or humiliate to surrender before arch enemy, Unforunately, nothing of the sort happened because the whole story was cooked ip, product of some perverted mind. The Indiana forgot, that even in in the name of priavay, global mobilization has done.
Piracy, which in the western Indian Ocean region almost exclusively emanated from Somalia, is on a downward trend due to the improving anti-piracy techniques by naval forces in the region and also because of improving life style in Somalia. The steadfast patrolling by international navies, not least those participating in CTF-151, the international counter piracy task force operating in the Gulf of Aden area, and other multinational operations such as the EU’s operation Atalanta, and NATO’s ocean Shield also undertook the same mission alongside individual National tasking by countries such as China, Russia and India, Pakistan Navy has recognised the need for co-operative action, and consistently participated in anti-piracy task force (CTF-151) since 2009 and continuously participated in counter terrorism task force (CTF-150) since 2004, Pakistan Navy has the honour to Command both these task forces for eight and ten times respectively. Both these coalition forces come under the banner of the US led Coalition Maritime Forces (CMF) and are headquartered in Bahrain. CMF is also a source of news and incident verification for piracy and security related incidents at sea as its vessels are in constant patrol around the region, well supported by maritime patrol aircraft keeping an ever watchful eye on maritime traffic and on the lookout for anything untoward.
Collectively, all above coalitions or independent organisations gave a fairly comprehensive monitoring capability in the region for ensuring maritime safety Whereas, Indians only joined operation ocean shield in 2009 which was an anti-piracy initiative as sub part of NATO’s of operation Enduring Freedom Horn of Africa (OEF-HoA), operation ocean Shield focuses on protecting the ships which are transporting relief supplies as part of the World Food Programme’s mission in the region, operation ocean shield disbanded in December 2016. Apart, this initiative India has not been formally part of any other counter piracy endeavour, instead operating as an independent force.
As Pakistan is a crucial frontline state in combating terrorism, and is judicially operating in Arabian Sea; it has become an admittedly indispensable participation by Indian, therefore warrant them to operate independently Indian navy ships and patrol vessels operate in the area in general and in support of India’s national shipping, but its independent operations seem in some cases to Veer towards attempting to demonstrate it is mare capable of policing the region than others and in seeking opportunities to demonstrate this.
That may perhaps explain what are in some quarters described as the Indian navy’s overzealous boarding operation that are then portrayed as successful instances of foiling pirate attacks, (certainly by the Indian media). One such example in April 2017, Indian media claimed that Indian Navy destroyers Mumbai and Tarkash responded to a merchant vessels distress call as the vessel was under pirate attack An Indian navy helicopter arrived to survey the on scene situation and by that time Chinese Special Forces boarded the merchant vessel and saved the crew of the ship.
In another incident in May 2017, it was reported in Indian media that INS Sharda, an offshore patrol vessel, foiled a piracy attempt on bulk carrier Mv Lord Mountbatten in Gulf of Aden. According to a media statement, two suspicious mother vessels along with 7-8 skiffs were seen in near vicinity of the merchant vessel on approach by INS Sharda, the skiffs fled at high speed, whereas, Indian Navy’s apprehended the suspicious vessel and its marine commandos boarded the boat for investigation and found one AK-47 with few rounds.
This evidence was enough for the Indians to declare the boat crew having malicious intent and possible linkage to piracy intentions. However, such small quantity of weapon is generally carried by the fishermen plying in the area for their own safety. Both these incidents reported by Indian navy foiling attacks are not recognised and recorded as such with the aforementioned organisations. Nevertheless, Indian media fan-fared Indian Navy at the forefront of policing the region. This may also be a calculated effort by the Indian national leadership to curry favour with the US; hoping that US will regard India to maintain regional security and stability. There could also be some hope that these claims may lead to demands of India being formally included in some of the multinational security endeavours, or simply US may ‘sub-contract’ security of the region to India. This would further India’s aim to dominate the entire Indian Ocean region, which it appears to regard as its own domain However, it may perhaps be in India’s interests to keep an additional sharp look out in waters closer to home as there have been criminal acts this year that could fall under the banner of piracy in its own waters.
In mid February an offshore support vessel was boarded and had equipment stolen while anchored just over six nautical miles west of JNPT Port in Mumbai. In mid October a bulk carrier anchored at Kandla Anchorage was robbed in a similar fashion, These may be two isolated incidents along a sprawling coastline, but like charity, the security begins at home All nations participating in the international effort to suppress piracy and maintain maritime security and stability have their part to play in the collective effort to ensure this possible.
To have any one nation try to use the opportunity to further its own agenda may risks the credibility of the overall effort. The simple conclusion drawn from this framed up plan, was to malign pakiistan but all international agencies gave Pakistan a clean chit.
Pakistan navy’s name emerged clear showing one against that Pakistan and is armed forces were harbinger of peace and have made it their mission number one to flutter the flag of peace in the world. The panic in the Indian navy last, month, turned iout to be just a drama and nothing else.