ISLAMABAD - Pakistan the other night got a chance to destroy an intruding Indian submarine but let it go unharmed in pursuance of its policy of maintaining peace with the belligerent neighbour, the naval force said yesterday.

This is yet another achievement of Pakistan forces which once again proved their professional skills and capabilities as well as superiority to the adversary.

The Pakistan Navy detected the Indian submarine Monday night and successfully foiled its attempt to enter into Pakistani territorial waters, said a statement issued on Tuesday by the director general of Navy’s public relations.

It said, “The submarine was detected and localised in Pakistan’s maritime zone on March 4... [It] could have been easily engaged and destroyed had it not been Pakistan’s policy to exercise restraint in the face of Indian aggression and to give peace a chance to prevail.”

“However, the submarine is being kept under watch along with monitoring of other Indian navy units. The detected submarine is one of the latest submarines of Indian navy,” added the statement.

Sequel to Indian air force’s intrusion into Pakistani air space, India continues to embark upon a series of provocative actions against Pakistan. Indian Navy has deviously deployed its submarines against Pakistan in line with Indian nefarious designs.

Learning from this incident, [which shows that Pakistan is a peace loving country], India should also work towards peace, the PN statement said.

The feet of Pakistan’s naval force comes on the heels of the shooting down of two Indian fighter jets by the Pakistan Air Force in a dogfight at LoC last week and the weeks long exemplary performance of country’s ground troops, whose vigilance and timely counteractions have failed Indian plans of aggression against the motherland.

The statement said the achievement is an evidence of Pakistan Navy’s capabilities which is ready to defend country’s maritime frontiers.

This is the second time since November 2016 that Pak naval forces have caught the Indian Navy trying to enter the country’s territorial waters.

The latest interception is more significant as it comes at a time when tensions between the two nuclear-armed states are soaring.

The video of the Indian submarine was made when it came up to periscope depth. Pakistan Navy has been tracking it with the assistance of aerial anti-submarine warfare assets.

The bulk of the Indian Navy’s undersea fleet is composed of diesel-electric Kilo-class submarines, known as the Sindhughosh-class, and the Scorpene-class, known as the Kalvari-class.

The Indian Navy also operates a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), the INS Arihant, which was manufactured locally after decades of delay.

Earlier in 2016, the Pakistan Navy successfully repelled an Indian submarine from entering the country’s territorial waters.

The unsuspecting submarine was detected and localised south of Pakistani coast on November 16, 2016. Despite the submarine’s desperate efforts to escape detection, it was continuously tracked by navy fleet units and pushed well clear of Pakistan waters.

Last week the Indian Air Force (IAF) violated Pakistani airspace on February 26 following the Pulwama attack in Indian occupied Kashmir. The IAF returned unsuccessful after the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) “immediately scrambled” its jets. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian aircraft released their payload “in haste” as they returned.

PAF the next day, on Feb 27, targeted non-military targets across the Line of Control to demonstrate Pakistan’s aggressive capabilities, and shot down two Indian Air Force jets after they crossed the LoC.

An Indian Air Force pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan, was taken into captivity of Pakistan’s armed forces. He was freed the next day and handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border. Prime Minister Imran Khan had termed his release as a “peace gesture” — a move lauded by people on both sides of the border as well as the international community that had urged restraint.

No such move or gesture for de-escalation, however, has been made by India so far.