Arabian Sea Current Affairs - 2020

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What is Sir Creek Issue between India and Pakistan?

Recently at the WION’s Global Summit held in Dubal, the Pakistan representative, Minister Kasturi recalled Sir Creeek Pact. The summit was organized under the theme

Theme: Navigating and Negotiating Global Imperatives

What is Sir Creek issue?

The issue between India and Pakistan over Sir Creek is the interpretation of boundary between Sindh and Kutch. The region was under the jurisdiction of Bombay Presidency during British rule. After independence, Kutch came under India and Sindh under Pakistan. But Pakistan claims entire creek as per the agreement signed between Rao Maharaj of Kutch and Government of Sindh in 1914.

India’s claims

India does not agree to the claims of Pakistan as when the issue arose, in 1908, the entire region of the Creek was under Bombay Presidency. India also cited an International Maritime Law, the Thalweg Doctrine to prove its point

Thalweg Doctrine

The Doctrine states that river boundaries between two states or countries shall be divided in the middle of the water body, if the body is navigable through out the year.

What is Sir Creek?

Sir Creek is a 96-km long water strip in the marshlands of Rann of Kutch. It was earlier called Ban Ganga. Later it was named after Sir Creek, a British representative to India. The Creek opens into Arabian Sea.

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Indian Navy launches Operation Sankalp in Persian Gulf

Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to reassure safe passage of Indian flagged vessels transiting through area. This deployment is in the wake of following recent maritime incidents in region.

Key Highlights

Indian Naval Ships, INS Chennai (Kolkata-class stealth guided missile destroyers) and INS Sunayna (Saryu-class patrol vessel) have been deployed in region to undertake maritime security operations. In addition to this aerial surveillance is also being done in area by IN aircraft.

The Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) of Indian Navy is also keeping a close watch on movement of ships in Gulf region. IFC-IOR, launched in December 2018, engages with partner nations to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and also share information on vessels of interest.

Need: Operation Sankalp has been launched in wake of escalating tension in Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers, one Norwegian-owned and other Japanese-owned were attacked on 13 June 2019. This incident has led to heightened tensions between Iran and United States (US). Although, it remains unclear that who was responsible for attacks but US has put the blame on Iran, which, in turn, has denied all allegations.

Importance of Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman

World’s major oil exporters and importers have a joint interest in security of Gulf of Oman this is because Gulf of Oman offers the only entrance from Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean into Persian Gulf.

Persian Gulf is an arm of Arabian Sea, lies between Arabian Peninsula and Iran, extending from Shatt al Arab delta to Strait of Hormuz. Approximately 50% of world’s total oil reserves are estimated to be found here.

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