ISLAMABAD - Chairman Senate Defence Committee Senator Mushahid Hussain yesterday proposed to the govt to prepare a National Maritime Security Plan (NMSP) on the face of emerging regional scenario and role of the Pakistan Navy.

Talking to media persons on Monday after the recent visit of Senate Defence Committee to Naval installations in Karachi, Gwadar and Ormara, he also proposed establishment of a new shipyard in Gwadar to supplement the one in Karachi.

He also proposed that the govt should prepare a strategy on how best to convert the 50,000 square kilometres of continental shelf that Pakistan had gained, for its economic and security benefit, because such a large continental shelf can have the potential of being transformed into the 'fifth province' of Pakistan.

He said he would be presenting the report of the Senate Defence Committee's recent visit to the Senate session on Tuesday, so that the Senate can discuss and debate this issue in the context of the increasingly important role of Pakistan Navy.

Mushahid termed the role of Pakistan Navy as 'pivotal in present geopolitical scenario with Gwadar Port central to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He praised the Pakistan Navy's proactive role, readiness and activities in promoting social-economic and educational development in the coastal regions of Balochistan, thereby, promoting national integration.

Referring to the visit of the Senate Defence Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain said the Senators received high-level briefings led by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Zakaullah, terming him a 'top-notch professional.

He said that in the emerging regional scenario, the focus would be on protecting sea-lanes with greater competition, especially among US, China, Japan and India revolving around their respective navies.

Mushahid Hussain said Pakistan too would play a strategic role since Gwadar Port was pivotal for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as Pakistan is part of the Maritime Silk Road as well as the Silk Road land corridor.