ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been excluded from the piracy High Risk Area (HRA), a development that would benefit seaborne trade and fishing activity of the country.

This significant development came after the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) unveiled that new revised limits of the piracy High Risk Area (HRA) have been declared by the shipping industry which will be effective from December 01, 2015.

This has come about after a long and protracted insistence from Pakistan and other affected regional countries, said a press release issued by the Pakistan Navy.

The revision in the limits of HRA has put almost the entire EEZ of Pakistan out of HRA and as a result the seaborne trade, fishing activity and other research and exploration activities of the country will get the benefit. The shipping from the Gulf area and the Far East to Pakistani ports shall now be outside the HRA which will result in elimination of extra insurance and security charges being incurred since 2010.

Inclusion of Pakistan’s EEZ in HRA in 2010 had been opposed by Pakistan. The Pakistan Navy in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made concerted efforts to exclude Pakistan’s EEZ from HRA.

Pakistan’s argument was supported by the fact that no incidents of piracy had occurred in the Pakistani EEZ due to its Navy’s vigilance. Moreover, it was highlighted that the Pakistan Navy had gone a step ahead and was contributing its ships to counter piracy in the entire Arabian Sea and had also commanded the Counter-piracy Task Force.

The Pakistan Navy remains committed to keep the high seas free from piracy and other Maritimes crimes thereby ensuring safety of the seafarers and free flow of the trade through the shipping lanes passing through the region, the press release said.