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Fresh Pakistani threat to Sir Creek area

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Times Now
22nd October, 2019 18:56 IST

With Pakistan's plans to purchase new weaponry and equipment for its naval commandos, there are apprehensions in India of 'fresh mischief' in the Sir Creek area.

* Pakistan is looking for five diver propulsion vehicles (DPV) or two-man underwater scooters that can go about 30 nautical miles for its naval commandos, say intelligence reports. China makes underwater scooters; the PLA also uses them. They are also manufactured by the United States, which has several with the range the Pakistan Navy is looking for.

* Along with the sea scooters, Pakistan is looking at 150 inflatable body armour systems for its commandos. These are special jackets that aren't very heavy (about 4kg each), automatically inflate and the hard armour plate provides protection against bullets and grenade attacks. Pakistan is looking for 90 medium-sized jackets, 40 large and 20 extra-large ones for its troops.

* Also, paramotors that can stop and start mid-air and fly at about 40 km per hour. The paramotors must have the ability to fly at 5,000 feet and have a range of over 100 km.

* Again, Pakistan's search for rigid-hull inflatable boats (RIBS) is being seen as more aggressive intent. Pakistan's requirement of an 8 metre long RIB with a capacity for 13 commandos, a maximum speed of 25 knots and a range of 150 nautical miles suggests that these too are for the Sir Creek area. The RIBS Pakistan wants can operate in shallow waters like the Sir Creek area, are very manoeuvrable and speedy. Besides, the Jamnagar industrial zone, on the other side of the Gulf of Kutch, is not too far away.

Sir Creek separates Gujarat in India from Sindh in Pakistan and remains a disputed area. Pakistan wants the entire marshland; India believes the boundary should be in the middle of the river. Pakistan has been gradually increasing its forces in the area, shortly after one of its aircraft -- an atlantique -- was shot down well inside Indian territory.

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