Over two-thirds of the world’s mass is water, with the major part navigable by ships. An estimated 75% of humanity lives in the littoral areas, near the coast. This accords a high degree of access to naval forces around the globe. However, in this respect naval ships are frequently employed on overseas deployments to different regions in pursuance of their official, diplomatic and humanitarian roles during peacetime. Naval forces are often called to respond to fiascos both at sea and the shore ranging from relief actions following floods, earthquakes, storms to Marines aiding efforts to fight forest fires. Likewise, provisioning medical care, aiding ships at sea and helping the stranded boats are also amongst many ways in which naval forces offer humanitarian assistance at sea and at shore.

Pakistan Navy, besides being at the forefront in ensuring safety and security of the maritime frontiers of the country, has also consistently been at the bleeding edge to lead Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations within and abroad to lend support to the national as well as international community. The unyielding resolve and commitment of Pakistan Navy pertaining such deployments was also palpable at various events in the past, including assistance rendered to Maldives and Indonesia after horrific Tsunami in 2004. Likewise, the rescue of MV Suez Crew from pirates in 2011, the successful conduct of humanitarian operations to evacuate stranded Pakistanis and foreign nationals at Yemen in 2015 and the support rendered to the flood stricken Sri Lankan populace is among the few glorious chapters of the zeal and commitment of Pakistan Navy. Keeping its traditions alive, Pakistan Navy ships, Pakistan Navy Ship MOAWIN and Pakistan Navy Ship ASLAT are paying port visits alongside the organizing free medical camps around Africa to help further Pakistan Navy’s determination to bridge the gaps and make it possible to operate together in pursuance of shared objectives.

Africa is strategically located at the confluence of important sea lanes through which 60 % of international trade, including large quantities of crude oil takes place. Moreover, the region is also under the limelight with rich and ambitious jockeying for position, influence and opportunity. However, over the decades Pakistan has not yet been able to tap the immense riches vis-à-vis these emerging players in the region. Thus with full comprehension of not so remarkable relations between Pakistan and African states, Pakistan Navy vows to bridge this gap by visiting ports and establishing free medical camps to demonstrate its strong resolve of maritime partnership and uplifting the underprivileged strata of the region. In this regard, the Pakistan Navy ships, Pakistan Navy Ship MOAWIN and Pakistan Navy Ship ASLAT on port calls to Africa established their first medical camp in Nouakchott, the largest and the capital city of Mauritania with an aim to provide hundreds of patients with facilities of free medical checkup, medicines and surgeries. It’s also pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Navy Ship MOAWIN, the biggest warship ever created indigenously at Karachi Shipyard is also equipped with state of the art medical facilities and an advanced surgical ward. The medical camp was established to create awareness amongst local populace with respect to better medical treatment facilities and health.

Pakistan and Mauritania also enjoy cordial relations and both the nations supported each other at various forums and occasions including the UN. Likewise, Pakistan’s Armed Forces share a strong bond with the Armed forces of Mauritania. Pakistan also provides military support to Mauritania besides being one of its leading trade partners. Moreover, such calls will also help bolstering brotherly relations between the two nations. Such visits and humanitarian assistance signifies Pakistan Navy’s professional acumen and strong resolve in maintaining and delivering its commitment to the nation and global community for providing assistance to keep Pakistan’s flag higher.