KARACHI - Maritime security challenges and opportunities remained in focus on the second day of the 8th International Maritime Conference 2019 here Sunday.

The 1st and 2nd sessions were graced by Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Dr Masuma Hasan, Chairman Pakistan Institute of International Affairs as chief guests respectively. Lt General Afgan Taghiyev Veli Chief of Coast Guard State Border Service Azerbaijan and Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu PhD Chief of Romanian Naval Forces attended as guests of honour.

During the first session, Admiral William Owens Former Vice Chairman United States Joint Chief of Staff stressed upon the significance of global navies for facilitating peace and cooperation among nations.

Senior Captain Shao Shuguang, Commander Task Force, PLA(N) China expressed his desire to keep the Indian Ocean stable in wake of non-traditional security threats at sea where interests of multiple stakeholders converge.

The speaker was followed by Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, Commander Karachi who highlighted about contemporary Maritime Security challenges from Pakistan’s perspective.

Last speaker of the first session was Rear Admiral Mehmet Cen Okyay, Commander of Turkish North Task Group who added that freedom of high seas is the core principle for maritime commerce and shipping.

Following session of the day was themed on Maritime Dynamics of the Western Indian Ocean Region.

Eminent speakers included Dr Christian Bueger, Professor at Copenhagen University, Denmark who emphasized upon the need for security architecture in the Western Indian Ocean for a sustainable and stable future.

Dr Syed Riffat Hussain, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) added that the scope of sea borne trade has expanded to new folds due to combined effects of globalization and technological changes.

The distinguished scholar Bhagya Senaratne, Lecturer at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka stated that Indian Ocean is one of the busiest shipping routes of the globe that presently being confounded by distrust.

In the last session, Dr Nazery Khalid, Head of Group Corporate, Boustead Heavy Industries, Malaysia was the keynote speaker who explicated opportunities for development of a blue economy in the Indian Ocean littorals.

He was followed by Vice Admiral (R) lftikhar Ahmed who was of the opinion that CPEC will make Gwadar an unparalleled hub of economic activities.

Dr Aneel Salman, Head of Business Management Program, COMSAT, presented a paper on sustainable oceanic economic growth strategy for Pakistan.

Last speaker of the session was Irfan Rahim, Director Special Projects at International Maritime Organization (IMO). He emphatically appreciated Pakistan’s Navy efforts in ensuring maritime security of Global Common in Indian Ocean Region. He not only highlighted Pakistan Navy’s Maritime Security Initiative of establishing Regional Maritime Security Patrol but also appreciated PN contribution in fighting transnational crime out at sea.

Naval Chief visits foreign ships

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi visited ships of foreign navies participating in Multinational Exercise AMAN-19 here on Sunday.

Upon his arrival onboard foreign visiting ships, the Naval Chief was warmly welcomed by senior officers/commanding officers of respective ships and was presented the guard of honour by smartly dressed out contingents.

The Naval Chief visited participating ships of Australia, China, Italy, Malaysia, Oman, Sri Lanka, Turkey and UK where he held interactions with senior officers/commanding officers.

During discussions, the Naval Chief highlighted that Pakistan Navy has always been a forerunner in quest for collaborative security in this region of immense strategic importance and AMAN series of exercises are anchored on this concept.

The Admiral further expressed that camaraderie generated herein will grow in future and shall bring us closer to the mutual goal of regional peace and prosperity. He also appreciated their participation in AMAN Exercise to fulfill common resolve of “Together for Peace”.

Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi interacted with foreign media reps during his visit and responded to their questions.

The senior officers/commanding officers of the respective ships highly acknowledged the strenuous efforts of Pakistan Navy by bringing together global navies towards shared commitment of maritime peace, stability and lawful order at sea.

Chief of the Naval Staff had interaction with the crew of visiting ships and appreciated their professionalism and morale.

During the other activities of the day, Lt General Edzai Absalom Tafadzwa Chanyuka Chimonyo Commander Zimbabwe National Army laid floral wreath at Mazar-e-Quaid followed by visit to Joint Maritime Information Coordination Centre, Pakistan Naval Academy and Pakistan Navy Ship Shamsheer.

Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu Ph.D Chief of Romanian Naval Forces visited Pakistan Navy Ship Saif and also called on Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi.