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A media brief of multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-21 was conducted at Pakistan Navy Fleet Headquarters, Karachi. Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Naveed Ashraf briefed the media regarding details of the exercise.
Exercise AMAN, with the slogan ‘Together for Peace’ is being conducted on regular basis by Pakistan Navy biennially to project soft image of Pakistan. The Exercise contributes towards regional peace and stability, resolve against terrorism in maritime domain, collaboration to maintain safe and sustainable maritime realm and above all enhance interoperability between regional and extra regional navies.
Pakistan has remained steadfast in fighting the forces of terror and tyranny with countless sacrifices and losses. The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has added yet another dimension to the already complex security milieu. However, timely and correct decisions of our leadership have kept us stable. Pakistan has remained a responsible state and shall continue to play its role amid diversified challenges.
Like any maritime nation, Pakistan has substantial stakes in the maritime domain. Our interest in safer and crime-free seas is rooted into three conspicuous realities: Firstly, our extraordinary dependence on the seas for trade, secondly operationalization of CPEC project; and lastly our strategic location astride the global energy highway. Cumulatively, these realities make the maritime stability as an important agenda of our national security. As we truly believe in the centuries old dictum that ‘Sea unites while Land divides’, Pakistan considers that maritime security is not just important for itself but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are strongly bonded with the seas.
While operating together, we must be mindful that contemporary global maritime environment remains fraught with traditional and non-traditional challenges which require collaborative response by friendly navies. No country can single handedly tackle the diverse threats that exist or the new ones that emanate on daily basis. Thus Collaborative Maritime Security has become the Scarlet Thread to ensure peace and stability in the region.
Commander Pakistan Fleet also highlighted that Pakistan Navy is a firm believer in the concept of having Collaborative Maritime Security and therefore has been actively participating in Maritime and Counter Piracy Operations along with other partner navies since 2004. Since 2018, Pakistan Navy is undertaking Regional Maritime Security Patrols, in which our ships maintain near permanent presence in vital sea areas in the Indian Ocean Region to contribute towards maintaining good order at sea. Exercise AMAN provides enormous opportunities to the participants for contriving the contours of such a collective response. In this regard, Exercise AMAN-21 is an effort to foster regional camaraderie, boost interoperability and exhibit a ‘united resolve against multifaceted threats.
This year, 7th edition of Exercise AMAN is scheduled this month, where around 45 countries are participating with surface and air assets, Special Operation Forces/ Marine teams and observers/ senior officers. The exercise has two major phases: harbour and sea phase. Harbour activities would include seminars, discussions, demonstrations and international get-togethers. The sea phase would have tactical manoeuvres on anti-piracy, counterterrorism, gunnery firing and search & rescue. Hallmark of the sea phase and Exercise AMAN – 21 would be International Fleet Review, witnessed by national and foreign dignitaries.
Admiral Naveed Ashraf also emphasized that Exercise AMAN-21 will provide a common forum for information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying the areas of common interests for all participating navies to achieve mutual goal of maintaining stability, peace and prosperity. He added that the exercise is a reflection that nations can play a constructive role in building new ties, establishing innovative relationships and strengthening existing ones. The Admiral also underlined that Exercise AMAN is about bridging gaps and making it possible to operate together in pursuance of common objectives and effective media coverage will project real essence of exercise at par with its theme ‘Together for Peace’ and Pakistan Navy’s contribution towards promoting peace at sea.