Visakhapatnam: The Indian Navy has not sent a formal invitation to Pakistan to participate in the prestigious International Fleet Review scheduled to be held in February off the Vizag coast, though China will be participating in the event.
Both Pakistan and China were not invited for the first IFR held at Mumbai in 2001. A top official of the Indian Navy indicated that Pakistan had not been extended any formal invitation seeking its participation, except for a routine circular issued by the ministry of external affairs.
Notably, Chief of Naval Staff R.K. Dhowan had personally written to around 79 nations, inviting their participation in the IFR to be held from February 4 to 8. Of these, 37 countries have confirmed participation in the IFR, the second such international event after the Independence.
Naval ships from the USA and Japan will also be part of the IFR. INS Sahyadri, an Indian naval ship of the eastern fleet, will be participating in a similar event to be conducted by Japan in October this year.
“Indian Navy has invited around 79 countries and so far 37 countries have confirmed participation. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi too have confirmed their participation in the IFR. They will stay in Vizag for three days, from February 5 to 7, during the IFR,” a top Indian Navy official said here on Thursday. To a question, the official replied that a routine circular has been sent to the Pakistan government on the IFR.
Location: Andhra Pradesh