Arabian Sea is a busy traffic route for ships and Gwadar has assumed a special importance due to its strategic location; Pakistan wants peace on its land as well as on sea frontiers.
PKONWEB Report (Karachi) — 46 countries are participating in Pakistan’s latest naval exercise called Aman-2019.
Launched first in 2007, the number of participants has been growing over the years for two main reasons: Pakistan Navy’s outreach initiatives, and the country’s growing importance as center of economic gravity of the region after launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)–it brings with it new and expanded sea security dimensions to Pakistan and its sea frontiers.
Commander Mirza Arslan Baig said twenty eight countries participated in the first exercise in 2007 along with their ships, aircraft and observers.
Talking on Aman 2019, he said 46 countries have so far confirmed their intention to participate in the multi-nation drill. He said these countries will send their ships, aircraft, Special Forces and marine troops. In addition, senior naval officers and other delegates will participate as observers.
The multi-nation naval exercise (commencing from Friday February 8) will help bring friendly navies together to achieve the aim of maritime cooperation and security, said Commander Mirza Arslan Baig and Lt. Commandar Javeria Naseem while taking part in a TV program in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Amjad Niazi, while addressing the media, said the exercise is spread over two phases and contingents from 46 countries will participate in this year’s drill.
Commander Baig said objectives of the exercise include projecting a positive image of Pakistan as a country contributing towards regional peace and stability, consolidating Pakistan Navy’s position in the regional maritime arena, enhancing interoperability with regional and extra regional navies and displaying of united resolve against maritime terrorism and piracy.
He said various kinds of maritime threats including terrorism, drugs smuggling, human trafficking, and disasters require collaboration of many countries. He said this exercise will enhance cooperation between the friendly navies. The naval commander said that Arabian Sea is a busy traffic route for ships and the port of Gwadar has assumed a special importance due to its strategic location.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt. Commander Javeria said drills in peacetime prepare the forces well for any real conflict situation. She said Pakistan wants peace on its land as well as on sea frontiers.
In January, two Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force P3C aircraft of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for pre-AMAN-19 exercise activity, reported The Express Tribune.