ISLAMABAD  -   Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak has said that responsibilities of Pakistan Navy for maintaining a secure maritime environment for smooth flow of sea trade have increased manifolds in the Western Indian Ocean because of progress on the CPEC and Gwadar port. The Minister stated this while addressing  the concluding  session of  three-day International Maritime Conference organized on the theme of ‘Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region’  at Karachi on Monday.

Federal Minister for Defence, Pervez Khattak was the Chief Guest of the event. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi was also present on the occasion.

The Conference was conducted by National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) under the auspices of Pakistan Navy as part of Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-19.

In the context of CPEC, the defence minister added that amongst the recent maritime development in our region, China Pakistan Economic Corridor is rightfully considered a Game Changer, not only for Pakistan but for economic well-being and prosperity of the entire region.

Pervez Khattak said that the current maritime threats and emerging Geo-Strategic situation is posing new challenges and risks to the stakeholders in the Region.

He said that the situation will provide constructive dialogue and develop collective mechanism. The conference has provided a platform to the scholars as well as practitioners to deliberate on the contemporary maritime challenges and share understanding of the dynamics in the maritime domain.

The defence minister expressed his confidence that the conference deliberations and its valuable recommendations will provide insight to maritime stakeholders for effective policy- making. He also thanked all the guests, panellists and dignitaries and congratulated National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) for successful conduct of the conference.

Earlier, Vice Admiral (Retd) Syed Khawar Ali Shah, Director General National Institute of Maritime Affairs integrated the conference presentations. He thanked the Chief Guest for sparing time and gracing the occasion with his presence. Heads of various panellists also presented the recommendations of their respective panels.  International Maritime Conference (IMC), held from 09-11 Feb in tandem with sixth International Maritime Exercise AMAN 2019, brought together eminent speakers and delegates from across the globe for in-depth discussions and deliberations on changing dynamics of geo-politics and analyse the impact of these changes on IOR’s economic exploitation and maritime security canvas.

The conference was attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, tri-services officers, academia, foreign & local media representatives and researchers from local and international think-tanks.