So far, Thirty nine warships of the Pakistan Navy along with the helicopters have participated in CMCP. These remarks were make b the Pakistan Navy' Rear Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique in his address at the international conference on maritime security held at the Lighthouse Hotel in Galle from November 14-15.
Here is the complete text of speech by the Rear Admiral Saddique which was released by the Pakistan High commission in Colombo as follows:
Pakistan being an important player and stake holder will continue to contribute effectively and play its due role in promoting peace and stability in Indian Ocean, states R Adm Khan Hasham Bin Saddique of Pakistan Navy during the Galle Dialogue. While appreciating the conduct of forum he thanked Srilanka Government especially the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksha and the commander of Sri Lankan Navy for inviting Pakistan Navy to attend this important gathering of maritime experts.
He opined that Global security landscape having undergone radical transformation following tragic events of 9/11 has spawned highly complex and multifaceted challenges. The un-abetting struggle against extremism that ensued engulfs many nation states causing huge socio-economic impact. He stated that the region has been in the midst of this radical transformation in global security paradigm. The region remains afflicted with 6 of the 23 active high intensity conflicts on going in the world. Many regional nations also continue to spend heavily on military resulting in massive arm build up on land at sea.
Highlighting the significance of sea for Pakistan he said that as is the case with most countries more than 95% of Pakistan's trade is sea borne and major requirement of POL imports comes from the Gulf. Continuous flow of energy resources through the Strait of Hormuz is essential for sustenance of economy and wellbeing. Pakistan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is 240, 000 Sq Km, with continental shelf extending a further 50, 000 sq km. The area is rich in fishery, possibly hydrocarbons and seabed resources and Pakistan aspires to exploit the EEZ for socio economic development of populace. It is therefore, in Pakistan's interest to see that the environment at sea is secure and stable to pursue legitimate interests unimpeded.Additionally, Pakistan is also pursuing development of maritime infrastructure especially along the arid Makran coast. Gwadar is a major commercial undertaking to become trans-shipment port of some reckoning in not too distant a future. The emerging maritime scenario in Indian Ocean thus necessitates a more dynamic role for Pakistan.
At international level, enhancing maritime security of the region through participation in the efforts against terrorism and contributing towards stability and peace in the area, especially of SLOCs in the North Arabian Sea, he said are the focus of our continuous attention. He reiterated that the stability in this region is also essential for securing the vital energy supplies of the world which is a common interest of Pakistan and the international community. In this regard, Sustained and concerted efforts of coalition forces and regional players are required to maintain security.
He explained that Cognisant of its international obligations Pakistan Navy has joined the US led multi-national coalition Task Force-150, under the ambit of Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP). The mission of this TF is to work with regional navies through theatre security cooperation for countering extremism, terrorism and illegal activities at sea, in order to maintain maritime security and stability in AOR. So far, 39 PN ships with embarked helicopters, in rotation, have participated in CMCP.
In addition, PN has also commanded TF-150 four times. It may be mentioned here that Pakistan Navy's proactive engagement with the international coalition has made it possible to effectively monitor and control drugs and arms smuggling in the North Arabian Sea. PN ships in conjunction with the coalition forces have been successful in deterring and denying the use of sea to potential terrorists.
Due to aggressive deployment of Pakistan Navy units in collaboration with other coalition partners in TF-150, there has been no act of maritime terrorism in our region, in the recent past.
Admiral Khan added that in order to curb the growing threat of piracy around our EEZ, PN has initiated a number of measures to pre-empt any act of piracy. A counter Piracy Patrol has been instituted in this regard. Pakistan and the Navy played a key role in release and rescue of MV SUEZ and its crew from Somali pirates. It may be mentioned the crew not only included Pakistanis but also Indians and Egyptians as well.
Besides participation in international coalitions, PN has also taken other initiatives for collaborative maritime security. In this regard multilateral exercises AMAN is being held biennially since 2007. AMAN Exercise is a clear manifestation of Pakistan's commitment towards peace and stability through harmony and collaborative maritime security between navies of East and West.
In the context of environmental protection measures, Pakistan Navy is the lead agency in combating all types of marine disasters at sea. A National Marine Disaster Contingency Plan (NMDCP), prepared by Pakistan Navy, was promulgated by the Government in 2008, wherein the organisation and actions required in case of marine disasters encompassing all national stake holders have been articulated.
In addition, whenever required, Pakistan Navy has also actively contributed in disaster relief operations both inland and abroad. To mention a few, PN ships and helicopters contributed significantly in rescue and relief efforts at Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia during and after the Tsunami in 2005 and during worst floods in the history of Pakistan last 2010.
He concluded that the way ahead to address various challenges to regional maritime security is formulation of Collaborative Maritime Security Apparatus. However, a pre-requisite to make any pragmatic headway in this regard will be to resolve contentious issues and disagreements between the regional states through dialogue and political process. Such an approach could facilitate confidence building and trust between the regional countries, leading to furtherance of cooperation in combating maritime crime and enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). He stated that Pakistan is a peace loving country that believes in promotion of peace and stability in the region.
The contemporary era is characterized by interdependence and the need to work collectively for peace and stability. In line with our national policies, I feel that Pakistan Navy has an important role to play in ensuring regional maritime security and stability. Due to its historic ties with most regional navies as well as socio-cultural affinity, Pakistan enjoys a unique position in the region. Pakistan provided crucial and meaningful support to the leading Gulf Navies in their formative years, thereby laying a solid foundation for mutual naval collaboration.Consequently there is excellent working relationship between PN and almost all other navies. Pakistan Navy's active participation in Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan, antipiracy operations off Somalia and holding of multilateral exercise AMAN biennially is a clear manifestation of our resolve towards peace and stability through collaborative maritime security arrangements. Pakistan and Pakistan Navy will remain committed, in accordance with our national policies, to play due role in the maritime domain and will continue to contribute significantly to regional maritime security. I feel Pakistan Navy despite recourse constraints has proved equal to the task.