Cold War in the Arabian Sea

Vijay Sakhuja, Research Fellow, IDSA


The present condition of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan is of suspicion, mistrust and hostility. Three wars have been fought in the past. Despite these events, the two sides have been engaged in establishing confidence-building measures aimed at reducing tension. There have been several dialogues, initiatives, summits and exchanges from both sides. A careful review of the existing military level confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan reveals a rather disturbing trend. There is a near total absence of naval confidence-building measures. Indian and Pakistan naval forces are routinely engaged in monitoring each other's activities and come dangerously close to each other. These activities are similar to those of the US and Soviet maritime forces during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow came to realise the gravity of their actions and negotiated an "Incidents at Sea Agreement". This agreement has survived and has proved to be a positive legacy of the Cold War. It has helped to prevent dangerous incidents at sea, opened channels of communications between the navies and generated confidence among the naval personnel. The agreement can serve as a model for Indian and Pakistan naval forces and enhance confidence building.

An EP-3 US Navy plane, packed with intelligence equipment, collided mid-air with a People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy fighter aircraft over the South China Sea in April 2001. The US aircraft was reportedly on an intelligence gathering mission and the Chinese had scrambled aircraft to prevent the intruder from flying close to their coast. According to the US Defence Intelligence Agency, it tracks Chinese spy flights along the American Pacific coastline and admits that the US Navy, on its part, undertakes routine reconnaissance missions along the Chinese coast to monitor submarine movements and naval exercises.1

Earlier, in August 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank in the Barrent Sea. Although there are conflicting reports/views on the causes of the accident, originating from both Russian and Western sources, one of the initial reports on the sinking of the Kursk pointed towards a collision between the submarine and another submarine/surface vessel. There are already six nuclear submarines that lie at the bottom of the sea: two American (USS Trident and USS Scorpion) and four Soviet/Russian ones. Several Soviet/Russian personnel have died in the accidents involving reactor malfunction, fire and collision.

The Cold War may have ended, but a large number of navies routinely continue Cold War missions of tracking/monitoring maritime operations of their respective adversaries. Closer home, the Indian and Pakistani naval forces are routinely engaged in monitoring each other's activities and on occasions come dangerously close to each other. Their activities are similar to what the US and Soviet maritime forces were engaged in during the Cold War and what the US and Chinese aircraft were engaged in during the recent incident resulting in the loss of the pilot and the aircraft.

This paper examines the continuing trends of Cold War maritime operations in the post-Cold War environment and highlights the "cat and mouse" game played by the navies. It reviews the maritime security environment in the Arabian Sea and argues for the development of a framework for maritime confidence-building between India and Pakistan.

Maritime Environment During the Cold War

During the early years of the Cold War, US maritime superiority was clearly visible at sea. American domination went unchallenged except when the US ships sailed close to Soviet waters. In such situations, the smaller Soviet Navy responded aggressively.2 The naval build-up of the 1960s resulted in the Soviet naval fleet expanding substantially. Soviet naval ships began venturing into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea. The deployments resulted in close encounters between the American and Soviet maritime forces. The aggressive tactics that the Soviets had employed in their home waters were being tested in the open oceans of the world. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt described these encounters as "an extremely dangerous, but exhilarating, running game of chicken." The two sides harassed, interfered and tested each other's resolve to dominate an incident.3 There were several reported cases of close encounters between the US and Soviet maritime forces during the Cold War. Some of the incidents resulted in collision as also loss of life. The two sides were so shaken by these "incidents at sea" that they eventually began thinking about ways to prevent them.

The term "incident at sea" can be applied to any dangerous or close quarter situation that arises due to non-compliance of rules and regulations as prescribed by the 1972 International Regulations for Prevention of Collision at Sea. It can also arise due to irresponsible and irrational acts at sea by ships, aircraft, and their crew. Therefore, any act that disturbs or impedes safe navigation by a ship or aircraft almost by definition is an incident at sea. A variety of incidents take place at sea:

(a) Dangerous Manoeuvres. A vessel passing dangerously close, crossing the bows or moving at high speed in close vicinity of another is considered un-seamanlike. Such manoeuvres can result in collision and are not permitted by the regulations. It is mandatory for a vessel to make its intentions clear to the other vessel to avoid any embarrassment. The Soviet and US maritime forces had engaged in manoeuvres that resulted in collisions. During 1965 to 1971, the US Navy recorded 46 incidents of this type.4

(b) Restricted Manoeuvres. Vessels engaged in replenishment at sea, launch/recovery of aircraft or engaged in search and rescue missions are termed as vessels restricted in their ability to manoeuvre. The regulations demand that other vessels keep clear and avoid hampering operations. In November 1970, a Soviet destroyer cut across the path of the HMS Ark Royal, resulting in a collision.5

(c) Aircraft Operations. Offensive manoeuvres like passing low over a vessel, dropping sonobouys, opening bomb bay doors, and firing tracers violate the rules for safe and peaceful navigation by vessels. Both Soviet and US aircraft have indulged in dangerous aircraft operations. In one incident in the Norwegian Sea, a Soviet TU-16 bomber aircraft crashed into the sea as it made a low pass over a US naval vessel.6

(d) Weapons and Sensors. Aiming and training of weapons and sensors by a ship or an aircraft is a provocative act. It can also be an indication of offensive intent and has the potential of a preemptive response from the other side. Such actions have generated tension in the past. The endangered vessel may be forced to upgrade its degree of readiness and assume battle stations.

(e) Misleading Signals. Display of misleading signals by ships makes navigation unsafe. These could be in the form of no lights or incorrect display, leading to accidents or close quarter situations. In March 1984, a Soviet Victor I class submarine running without lights in the Sea of Japan collided with the US carrier Kitty Hawk.7 Soviet vessels allege that US warships use powerful flashlights to blind personnel on the bridge. The Soviet maritime forces have been accused of firing flares at US vessels. A Soviet carrier fired flares at the USS Harold E. Holt. Three of the flares hit the frigate and one of them went past 30 feet from the captain.8

Reasons for Harassment

Clearly there were political and military compulsions that encouraged harassment at sea during the Cold War. Several incidents involving the US and Soviet maritime forces worked as instruments of foreign policy. Sean M. Lynn-Jones notes that the Soviet Union and the United States may have purposefully engaged in some instances of harassment or dangerous manoeuvring at sea, or at least given such actions de facto approval by not disciplining the commanders involved.9 Admiral Gorshkov, the commander-in-chief of the Soviet Navy, believed that the age old ocean dominance by the Western maritime powers was not acceptable in the light of these areas being used as nuclear launch platforms. As far as the military reasons are concerned, the harassment was based on several factors. The 1962 Cuban missile crisis had exposed the weaknesses in the Soviet naval power. The Soviets considered this as a challenge to their power at sea. Besides, the Soviets may have also used such harassment of the US maritime forces to obtain information about their naval combat reaction time.

The subsequent years witnessed a major growth in the Soviet naval capabilities. The Soviet harassment of the US maritime forces was aimed to deny freedom of action enjoyed by US forces in the past. Admiral Sergei Gorshkov observed that Soviet ships and naval aviation had demonstrated their capability to send a clear signal to foreign governments that they could not consider their aircraft carriers and submarines as totally invisible, untouchable and, during hostilities, invulnerable. The harassment of the US maritime forces in the Black Sea and the Sea of Japan conveyed the Soviet resentment over intrusion in waters they considered their own backyard.10

Post-Cold War Maritime Security Environment

In the post-Cold War period, the "cat and mouse" game continues. In March 1993, two SSBNs (nuclear powered submarines with SLBMs) collided beneath the icy waters of the Arctic. The USS Grayling was engaged in "shadowing" of a Russian Delta class SSBN that was on a routine patrol.11 While executing a manoeuvre, the Russian submarine bumped into the US one. Reportedly, had the USS Grayling been a few seconds slower, the bump would have resulted in a major collision right into the missile bay, resulting in a major nuclear disaster. The Russian submarines carry nuclear tipped missiles while on patrol. Interestingly, the USS Grayling circled to see if the other submarine was damaged. This accident assumed greater significance in the light of the fact that a Russian submarine had earlier surfaced under a US submarine in the Barrent Sea in 1992. The area is the one where the Kursk incident took place. Both vessels had sustained severe damage but had remained silent! The USS Grayling incident was taken up by then Russian President Boris Yeltsin with US President Bill Clinton who apologised for the incident and promised to investigate the matter. He assured President Yeltsin, saying, "I don't want it to ever happen again".12 He even suggested that talks be initiated "to discuss whether the policy should be changed and where we should go from here". Despite these assurances, the US submarines continue to routinely monitor and track the Russian submarines.

More recently, a similar situation had developed between the US and China. On October 27, 1994, in an incident involving the US Navy and the PLA Navy in the Yellow Sea, an S-3 anti-submarine aircraft from the USS Kitty Hawk spotted a Chinese Han Class SSN some 450 nautical miles from the carrier.13 The Chinese dispatched fighter aircraft and intercepted the US planes. No shots were fired and there was no communication between the two forces. The cat and mouse game continued till the submarine came 21 nautical miles from the carrier. It then returned to its base.14

Finally, some of the harassment can also be attributed to the crew of the maritime forces. The captains of certain vessels have sometimes resorted to dangerous manoeuvres to display bravado. Some would maintain course with little or no fear of collision, the basic psyche being that of "who chickens out first"?

Naval Security Environment in the Indian Subcontinent

It is common practice for the Pakistan Navy to "shadow" and "buzz" Indian Navy ships and aircraft while operating in the Arabian Sea or on passage to the Persian Gulf. However, the Indian Navy too cannot be exonerated on this count. The Indian Navy routinely undertakes similar activities when the Pakistan Navy ships and aircraft engage in exercises or are on their passage to Southeast Asia. Both sides have remained silent for reasons of pride or ego. The "buzzing" and "formatting", as these incidents are called, have continued without an incident so far.15 Some of these are:

(a) In 1983, an Indian Kashin II class destroyer nearly opened fire on a Pakistani Atlantique.16

(b) In 1996, there was a near collision between a Pakistan Navy SA316B Alouette III helicopter and an Indian Navy Sea King, shadowing the Pakistan Navy's annual Sea Spark exercise in the Arabian Sea.17

(c) Pakistan Navy Atlantiques and P3C Orions have been repeatedly warned off by Indian Sea Harrier V/STOL fighters scrambled from the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.18

(d) In August 1995, Pakistan Navy Alloutes flew dangerously low over an Indian warship at anchor in the port of Tanjung Priok, Jakarta. Both the Pakistan and Indian Navies had been invited to the Indonesian International Fleet Review.

Cold War in the Arabian Sea

The present condition of bilateral relations between India and Pakistan is one of suspicion, mistrust, and hostility. Three wars have been fought in the past. The recent intrusion in Kargil by the Pakistan Army has dented the goodwill that was generated after the Lahore Bus diplomacy initiative. Besides, Islamabad has been sponsoring terrorism in Kashmir for almost a decade now. Despite these events, the two sides have been engaged in establishing confidence-building measures (CBMs) aimed at reducing tension. There have been several dialogues, initiatives, summits and exchanges from both sides. The sanctity and effectiveness of the CBMs between the two have been questionable but these measures have gained importance in the subcontinent. They have been recognised not only for their utility but also as a method to move forward and encourage bilateral dialogue.

A plethora of such initiatives has mushroomed which now cover a wide spectrum of issues, from military-to-military agreements to schools' Old Boys Associations. However, the commitment to implement the confidence-building initiatives has faltered on several occasions and peace appears to be elusive in the subcontinent. As a matter of fact, breakthrough and breakdown are terms that have become synonymous with almost every interaction between India and Pakistan on the issue of confidence-building.

Michael Krepon notes that after every war, states encounter a strange and variable mixture of perverse problems and heady opportunities.19 While the wounds of war take their time to heal, states begin to address the problems to restore peace. Dialogues and talks, both official and non-official come centrestage. These lead to the process of reviewing existing measures and adoption of new ones to enhance CBMs, such as hot lines, steps to prevent war, notification of military exercises, etc. Both India and Pakistan have also negotiated similar agreements to reduce tensions and avoid wars.

Ironically, most of the military level CBMs were prompted by the three wars and the period of high tension during 1986 to 1991. Some of them emerged after a series of foreign secretary level talks.20 Unlike the European CBMs and CSBMs (confidence and security building measures), many of the Indo-Pakistan CBMs have not been negotiated in detail and the implementation mechanism has been unsatisfactory. Besides, these measures have been politically loaded. Kashmir has remained the core issue in almost all the negotiations.

A careful review of the existing military CBM agreements between India and Pakistan reveals a rather disturbing trend, except for the following.21

(a) The Indian Navy and the Pakistan Navy will avoid holding major military manoeuvres and exercises in close proximity to each other. The strategic direction of the main force being exercised will not be towards the other side and no logistic build-up is to be carried out close to it.

(b) Any exercise involving six or more ships of destroyer/frigate size and above, exercising in company or crossing into each other's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will constitute a major exercise.

(c) The schedule of major exercises will be transmitted in writing to the other side through diplomatic channels, 30 days in advance.

(d) Information on the type of exercise, the latitude and longitude of the area, the duration of exercise and the type of formations participating, is to be intimated.

(e) Naval ships and submarines are not to come closer than three nautical miles from each other so as to avoid any accident while operating in international waters.

(f) Aircraft of either country will refrain from buzzing surface units and platforms of the other country in international waters.

It is difficult to ascribe any specific reason for the absence of exhaustive naval CBMs as also detailed mechanisms for their implementation. Be that as it may, both the Pakistan Navy and the Indian Navy have grown in size and capabilities. Their maritime ambitions have also altered, in view of the changing world order. There is a new appreciation of the maritime environment as also the changing strategic and tactical vision of naval planners. The naval forces, both aircraft and ships, now meet more often than before. They are routinely engaged in monitoring each other's activities and come dangerously close to each other. These activities are similar to those of the US and Soviet maritime forces during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow came to realise the gravity of their actions, and negotiated the Incidents at Sea Agreement (INCSEA).

INCSEA: A Success Story

It has been argued that the INCSEA between the United States and Soviet Navies was negotiated largely due to the climate of détente that pervaded during the signing of the treaty.22 The general state of good relations may have acted as a catalyst for the initiatives from both sides. Senior naval officers may have believed that by negotiating the agreement, they were demonstrating their support for détente.23 Although détente may have contributed to the INCSEA, it is unquestionably the mutual desire between the two navies that prevents accidents and loss of life.

David F. Winkler lists at least seven reasons that contributed to the INCSEA success story. First, both the US and the Soviet maritime forces came to realise that irresponsible and irrational actions at sea could lead to loss of life.24 Any inadvertent action could result in an undesirable major confrontation. Neither side could afford to lose expensive ships and aircraft. Besides, the bravado of inexperienced junior commanding officers was questionable.

Second, the agreement was simple. The entire agreement was "sailor made and tailored for sailors". It called upon commanding officers to observe the rules of the road. A ship's crew was expected to be judicious in its actions keeping in mind the other side's interests and safety.

Another important reason for the success of the agreement was that both sides conducted discussions with utmost frankness and professionalism.25 Any violation of the agreement was accepted and responsibility was fully shouldered. Each side was in a position to place itself in the other's shoes, and appreciate the problem. Professional naval officers were able to communicate better with each other than with officers from a sister Service. The bond among sailors comprised an important factor.26

The bilateral nature of the agreement helped ensure confidentiality. It precluded political posturing to a multilateral audience.27 The INCSEA did not require Senate ratification. Therefore, it was possible to overcome the politicisation which had proved fatal to other agreements. The INCSEA did not receive any major Press coverage and its low profile further contributed to its success. The verification and accountability of an incident during annual consultations added to a sense of responsibility. Documentary evidence was well received by the other side, and it acted as a deterrent to any similar adventure in future.

Finally, the main reasons were that both sides were interested, the agreement was simple in execution, it was created by naval officers, the atmosphere was conducive, and it lacked publicity and visibility. It had all the ingredients for verification and accountability. As relations between the US and USSR improved, other agreements such as one to Prevent Dangerous Military Activities were reached. But the INCSEA had set the process going.

INCSEA: A Confidence Builder

The INCSEA has emerged as an effective instrument for tension reduction and confidence building. The agreement should be viewed as a CBM, an agreement "designed to enhance such assurance of mind and belief in the trustworthiness of states and the facts they create".28 It proved effective in reducing US-Soviet incidents at sea and came to be accepted as a model for adoption by other navies too.

The reasons for its popularity can be explained by the rising graph of the countries adopting it. No navy has any interest in endangering its men and ships. In an era of resource crunch and general trends of downsizing of forces, no nation can afford to lose maritime assets by imprudent or irrational acts at sea. Besides, no navy has any interest in initiating a conflict or disrupting the peaceful settlement of a dispute.

The US-Soviet INCSEA has now been emulated by several navies. These are not carbon copies of the 1972 agreement. Reference has been made to the Law of the Sea and various other specific adjustments have been incorporated. Some of these are: USSR and UK (1986); USSR and Germany (1988); USSR and Spain (1990); USSR and Norway (1990); USSR and Netherlands (1991), and Russia and Republic of Korea (1993).29 More recently, the US and the People's Republic of China (PRC) signed the INCSEA. Regarding China, the US did not feel the necessity of such an agreement till the encounter between the USS Kitty Hawk and Chinese Han Class SSN. The PLA Navy was considered a coastal force and it was believed that it rarely sailed into the high seas. It was almost two years after the Taiwan Strait crisis that the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement was discussed, and finally signed by US Secretary of Defence Cohen and his Chinese counterpart in January 1998. This is on the same lines as the INCSEA between the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union.30

The INCSEA has survived and proved to be a positive legacy of the Cold War.31 It has helped to prevent dangerous incidents at sea, opened channels of communication between navies and generated confidence among the naval personnel.

INCSEA Between India and Pakistan

It is difficult to point to any specific reason for the absence of a detailed mechanism for the implementation of agreements between India and Pakistan. An Indian Navy official stated, "Every time our warships enter the northern Arabian Sea, it is shadowed by either an Orion or an Atlantique. We do the same to them using our Bears, IL-38s, Dornier-228s and Sea Kings".32 In the Cold War, the same game was played by US Navy P3C Orions and Soviet Tu-142 Bear long range maritime patrol aircraft.

This is not to suggest that the two sides have shown tolerance, but most of these incidents have gone unreported, with few diplomatic protests. It would be folly not to address the issue and prevent both sides from getting bolder, finally leading to a skirmish. Both sides have shown little or no restraint to stop these activities.

Pakistan Navy Atlantique Incident

In a reckless and avoidable sortie, a Pakistan Navy Atlantique violated Indian airspace and intruded into the Kutch area in Gujarat. The appearance of this slow moving long range maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft over land was indeed intriguing. Two MiG 21 aircraft of the Indian Air Force intercepted the Pakistani Atlantique. There was no communication between the intruder and the interceptors. The hostile manoeuvre of the Atlantique resulted in the shooting down of the aircraft.

The 1991 agreement between India and Pakistan clearly spells out that aircraft will not fly within 10 km of each other's airspace.33 Failure to abide by the agreement has resulted in loss of life as also maritime assets. Indian Navy Sea Harrier aircraft have often intercepted and formatted Atlantique and Orion aircraft acting as snoopers. They have been firmly informed to clear the area or face a nasty situation. It is strange that the Pakistani Atlantique aircraft did not communicate and resorted to a hostile manoeuvre. This clearly shows that the aircraft was on a suspicious mission. The downing of the Pakistan Navy aircraft can well serve as an incentive for the two navies to build on the 1972 INCSEA.

The Question of Intention

Pakistan and India have in the past made positive declaratory statements to serve a conciliatory purpose.34 Unfortunately, these statements have failed to generate faith, and have rarely been pursued to their logical end. The result is a recurring breakdown in the conciliatory process. There is a total absence of trust; the mistrust is reinforced by the media. The Press often criticises positive declaratory statements as being impractical, weak, confused and idealistic.35

Admiral Fasih Bokhari, former chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, was quoted as saying,

I would like to see India and Iran trading across our soil; Central Asia and India trading across our soil, because that is a part of integration into the region which gives our neighbours a stake in our security...moving away from fifty years of India-centric policies which have been hostile and confrontationist into the next fifty years of befriending India.

Talking about the Indian blue water naval capability, the admiral was of the view that the Pakistan Army had been outflanked in the south by the Indian Navy-India was using its navy in a classical sea power role.36

The 1972 US-Soviet INCSEA played an important role in reducing the number of incidents at sea between the two navies. Its success acted as a catalyst for other navies to emulate it. It succeeded partly due to the fact that it was unpublicised, crafted by naval officers and there was no political interference. The implementation mechanism was simple and there was a desire on the part of the two navies to observe order at sea.


In the India-Pakistan context too, the Cold War maritime conditions prevail. The two navies shadow, format and buzz each other's maritime forces on a regular basis. It is indeed fortunate that no fatal accidents have taken place at sea but the downing of the Pakistani Atlantique is a chilling reminder of the fallout of irresponsible actions. The recent loss of the Chinese aircraft over the South China Sea only reinforces the fears of undesired bravado of young officers. Navies would gain considerably by adhering to agreements, and avoid losing men and material.

The Lahore Process was derailed following the Kargil intrusion. The Indian Navy and the Pakistan Navy did not engage in any action. The former had assembled sizeable maritime forces on its western seaboard, but the latter chose to stay close to its ports. Notwithstanding that, the need to build confidence cannot be underscored. It is, therefore, important to develop a framework that can prevent incidents at sea. This can have a direct bearing on the search for peace that appears to elude the subcontinent. It can significantly reduce tension. It is also evident that there is political will too. A framework for maritime cooperation could include the following:-

(a) Harassment. The maritime forces of the two sides should avoid close quarter situations and aircraft should not engage in aerobatics over each other's surface forces.

(b) Distance Between Ships. Ships of either side must observe the prescribed "rules of the road" and stay well clear of the other and not impede safe navigation. When engaged in special operations like launch/recovery of aircraft, search and rescue and replenishment at sea, each side must take actions to avoid hampering or obstructing operations.

(c) Communications. The maritime forces must maintain constant communication when operating in close vicinity of each other. A communication plan based on internationally accepted regulation can help avoid misunderstanding or misinterpretation of actions. A "hot line" between the operational commanders (Mumbai and Karachi, as also between New Delhi and Islamabad) would further contribute to the safety of forces at sea.

(d) Consultations. A consultation mechanism to address grievances and complaints would facilitate building trust among maritime forces. This could be in the form of annual review meetings to be hosted alternatively by each side.


1. See "The Top Gun Spies", Special Reports, Gurdian Unlimited at

2. David F. Winkler, "US-Soviet Maritime Confidence Building Measures", in Jill R. Junnola, ed., Maritime Confidence Building Measures in Regions of Tension, Report No. 21, May 1996, Henry L. Stimson Centre, Washington DC.

3. Elmo Zumwalt Jr., On Watch (New York: Quadzagle Press, 1976), p. 39, cited in n. 1, p. 2.

4. n. 2, p. 3.

5. n. 4, p. 5.

6. Sean M. Lynn-Jones, "Quiet Success for Arms Control; Preventing Incidents at Sea," International Security, vol. 9, no. 4, Spring 1995, p. 162.

7. Sean M. Lynn-Jones, "Agreement to Prevent Incidents at Sea and Dangerous Military Activities: Potential Applications in the Asia Pacific Region," paper presented during a workshop organised by Peace Research Centre, Australia National University and International Institute of Strategic Studies, Kuala Lumpur, July 8-10, 1991, p. 10.

8. Ibid.

9. n. 6, pp. 158-159.

10. Ibid.

11. See John Bowermaster, "The Last Front of the Cold War," at

12. Ibid.

13. Lieutenant Commander Ulysses O. Zalamea, US Navy, "Eagles and Dragons At Sea: The Inevitable Collision Between the United States and China," Naval War College Review, vol. XLI, no. 4, Autumn 1996, p. 62.

14. See "US-China Confidence Building More Important Than Detargeting", at

15. "Buzzing Fleets in the High Seas," Asian Defence Journal, October 1999, p. 34.

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid.

19. Michael Krepon, "Conflict Avoidance, Confidence Building, and Peace Making", in Michael Krepon, Michael Newbill, Khurshid Khoja, Jenny S. Drezin, eds., Global Confidence Building: New Tools for Troubled Regions, (New York: St. Martin Press, 1999), p. 3.

20. Sony Devabhaktuni, Mathew C.J. Rudolf and Michael Newbill, "Key Developments in CBMs Between India and Pakistan," in Krepon et al, eds., Ibid., pp. 189-190.

21. See Annexure A.

22. n. 7, p. 12.

23. Ibid.

24. n. 2, p. 18.

25. Ibid., p. 18.

26. Ibid., p. 19.

27. Stanley B. Weeks, "Measures to Prevent Major Incidents at Sea," at http://www.conf.diplomacy/edu/conf/cbm/weeksa.htm, p. 6.

28. n. 6, p. 181.

29. n. 25, p. 7.

30. See "US-China Confidence Building More Important than Detargeting", at

31. n. 2, p. 1.

32. n. 13, p. 34.

33. n. 19.

34. P.R. Chari, "Declaratory Statements and Confidence Building in South Asia", in Michael Krepon, Jenny S. Drezin and Michael Newbill, eds., Declaratory Diplomacy: Rhetorical Initiatives and Confidence Building, Report No. 27, April 1999, Henry L. Stimson Centre, Washington DC, p. 89.

35. Ibid.

36. "An Interview With Admiral Fasih Bokhari, CNS Pakistan Navy," Defence Journal, December 1997.

Annexure A

Agreement Between Pakistan and India on Advance Notice of Military Exercises, Manoeuvres and Troops Movements

6 April 1991 (New Delhi)

Whereas Pakistan and India recognise the need to jointly formulate an agreement at the Government level on giving advance notice on exercises, manoeuvres and troop movements in order to prevent any crisis situation arising due to misreading of the other side's intentions. Therefore, the Governments of Pakistan and India jointly decide that:

1. Their Land, Naval and Air Forces will avoid holding major military manoeuvres and exercises in close proximity to each other. However, if such exercises are held within distances as prescribed in this Agreement, the strategic direction of the main force being exercised will not be towards the other side, nor will any logistics building up be carried out close to it. The following will constitute a major military manoeuvre/exercise for the purposes of this Agreement:

(a) Land Forces:

1. India-Pakistan International Concentrations of Corps level (comprising two or more Divisions) and above.

2. Line of Control and the area between the Manawar Tawi and Ravi Rivers, Division level and above.

(b) Naval Forces: Any exercise involving six or more ships of destroyer/frigate size and above, exercising in company and crossing into the other's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

(c) Air Force: Regional Command level and above.

2. Both sides may not conduct exercises of Land Forces at Divisional level and above within five kilometres (kms) of the areas specified at Paragraph 1. A. 1 and 2.

3. Both sides will provide notice regarding exercises of Land Forces as follow:

a. All exercises/concentrations at Divisional level in areas specified at paragraph 1. A.2.

b. All exercises/concentrations at Corps level within a distance of seventy-five km in areas specified at Paragraph 1. A.1. and 2.

c. All exercises above Corps level irrespective of the distance.

4. Both sides will give fifteen days prior notice when formations with defensive roles are moved to their operational locations for periodic maintenance of defences.

5. The schedule of major exercises with troops will be transmitted in writing to the other side through diplomatic channels in advance as follows:

a. Air exercises at Regional Command level and above: Fifteen days.

b. Divisional level exercise, and major Naval exercises involving six or more ships of destroyer/frigate size and above, exercising in company and crossing into the other's EEZ: Thirty days.

c. Corps level exercises: Sixty days.

d. Army level exercises: Ninety days provided that the above provisions relate to the commencement of moves of formations and units from their permanent locations for the proposed exercises;

6. Information on the following aspects of major exercises will be intimated:

a. Type and level of exercises.

b. General area of the exercise on land, air and sea. In respect of air and sea exercises, these will be defined in latitude and longitude.

c. Planned duration of the activity.

d. Number and type of formations participating.

e. Any shifting of forces from other Commands/Corps/Strategic formations envisaged. The move of strategic formations, particularly armoured divisions, mechanised divisions, air assault divisions/reserve infantry formations and artillery divisions/air defence artillery divisions. Provided that in respect of major Air and Naval exercises, only the information at Paragraphs a. to c. need be intimated.

7. In case some change in exercise area/grouping of participating formations from the previously notified composition is necessitated, the country carrying out the exercise will intimate the details of changes so as to reach the other country at least thirty days in advance in respect of Corps level exercises and above, and fifteen days in advance in respect of divisional level exercises and Naval exercises. In respect of Air exercises, if minor changes to the previously notified details are necessitated, an advance notice of seven days will be provided.

8. Any induction/concentration of additional troops of a division size force and above, within one hundred and fifty kms of areas specified at Paragraph 1. A.1. and 2, for internal security duties and/or in aid of civil power will be notified to the other side at least two days before the start of their movements, whenever possible. In case of immediate movements, information may be passed on Hot Line to the Army Headquarters of the other country. The forces so employed will not move forward from their logistic bases/installations and armour/artillery.

9. Each country will be entitled to obtain timely clarification from the country undertaking military manoeuvres/exercises concerning the assembly of formations, the extent, direction of the exercise and the duration.

10. The Naval ships and submarines belonging to the other country are not to close less than three Nautical Miles (NMs) from each other so as to avoid any accident while operating in international waters.

11. Combat aircraft including fighter, bomber reconnaissance, jet military trainer and armed helicopter aircraft will not fly within ten kms of each other's airspace, including the Air Defence Identification Zones (ADIZ), except when such aircraft are operating from Jammu, Pathankot, Amritsar and Suratgarh air bases on the Indian side, as well as Pasrur, Lahore, Vehari and Rahim Yar Khan air bases on the Pakistan side, in which case they will maintain a distance of five kms from each other's airspace. Unarmed transport and logistics aircraft including unarmed helicopters and Air Observation Post (AOP) aircraft will be permitted to operate up to 1,000 metres from each other's airspace including the ADIZ.

12. Aircraft of either country will refrain from buzzing surface units and platforms of the other country in international waters.

13. This Agreement supersedes will previous understandings in so far as the above points are concerned.

14. This Agreement is subject to ratification. It shall come into force with effect from the date on which the Instruments of Ratification are exchanged.

15. Done at New Delhi on this sixth day of April, 1991.

(Signed) Muchkund Dubey

Shaharyar M. Khan Foreign Secretary

Foreign Secretary Republic of India