SARGODHA-The University of Sargodha (UoS) on Tuesday arranged a special lecture on "Pakistan Maritime Affairs: Potentials and Challenges" for students and faculty members.

Station Commander Navy Lahore, Commodore Neimatullah was the guest speaker. He stressed the need for fully exploiting maritime area of Pakistan to tap its potential and called for integration between maritime and enhancing logistic solutions to take full benefit of country's maritime potential.

"Pakistan's maritime areas consist of 290,000 square kilometres and there is a need to tap its real potential," the Station Commander said, adding "Despite having a long coastline and overwhelming economic dependence on sea, Pakistan has not been able to evolve into a true maritime nation.

However, development of the Gwadar Port, at the crown of the Arabian Sea, has provided Pakistan with a unique opportunity to claim its status as an important maritime power."

Underlining the significance of trade, mineral and strategic maritime potential, he reminded that Pakistan's 95 per cent trade takes place through sea and one shipyard can provide work to 50,000 people. Pakistan had the oldest ship recycling Industry, Gadani in the sub-continent and just couple of decades ago, it was used to be the world largest ship breaking yard, he added.

Discussing the strategic location of Pakistan he said, "Pakistan is located at a point which lies just besides the route of world's 60 per cent oil supplies."

Commodore Neimatullah pronounced the CPEC as a game changer and counter to eliminate the Pivot Asia Policy designed by the US to contain the region. He informed the session that Pakistan is located at a very significant geo-strategic place on the globe but the environment, in which CPEC will operate, has opportunities and challenges.

He also shed light on the Gwadar-Kashgar corridor and its potential impact on the region said that oceans are vital for security and economic life of the littoral states.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad said that Pakistan has been facing potential security threats from multiple actors within and outside the country premises. "However, Pakistan Armed Forces have always ensured our safety and kept us away from external as well the internal dangers."

"In ensuring the security of multi-billion dollar project, the armed forces, especially Navy is playing a crucial role and rendering sacrifices." He ensured the visiting delegate full support of Sargodha University in making CPEC and Gwadar a success.

"Sarodha University will always be creating a community of san and efficient youth with well-worth to contribute towards the growth and development of this country," he concluded.

The lecture was attended by deans, heads and faculty members of various departments and students of Politics, International Relations, History and Pakistan Studies and a number of faculty members attended the lecture.

At the end, a comprehensive Q&A session was held during which the guest speaker satisfied the queries of students regarding the potential of Pakistan's maritime, challenges to control human, drugs and arms smuggling through the sea and security threats to the Gwadar port.