Pakistan Navy emerging as a strong Maritime force in the region
ISLAMABAD - Rising in stature day-by-day, and occupying an honour place in the list of world Navies, Pakistan Navy has occupied a front row participant in international and regional maritime security and peace endeavours.
Shouldering international obligations in the realm of Maritime Security has always been on top priority for Pakistan Navy. If it is said that, Pakistan Navy ships, aircraft and men remained committed with multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) for over fourteen years and are still a part of CMF, it will not be wrong.
Since year 2004, Pakistan Navy contributed with 1 to 2 Destroyers/Frigates with embarked helicopters in Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan’ which is the maritime component of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Similarly, Pakistan Navy also joined Counter Piracy Task Force 151 in 2009 and CTF 150 in 2006, and remained a fundamental contributor in the global efforts against Piracy. In numerical terms, 100s PN Ships rendered services in Combined Maritime Forces Operations for maintenance of security and stability in Indian Ocean Region.
With a cherishable history of huge contributions to support order in maritime arena, Pakistan Navy is recognized as a key upholder of international maritime laws in the region.
Furthering these pursuits in the wake of recent politico-strategic developments and to pursue national interests with strategic autonomy, Pakistan Navy has decided to institute Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) in areas of interest particularly Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Choke points off Maldives.
The concept of RMSP seeks to conduct Maritime Security Patrols in critical maritime areas/choke points within Indian Ocean Region in order to maintain a robust security posture and protect national and international shipping while ensuring freedom of navigation at high seas according to international laws. In broad terms, RMSP would contribute in projecting Pakistan as a responsible state shouldering Regional Maritime Security.
Additionally, the RMSP will enable PN to protect National and International shipping plying along lndian Ocean Region against threats of Piracy, Maritime Terrorism, Narco arms smuggling and human trafficking etc. RMSP will also help in generating rapid support to contingencies like Humanitarian Assistance, Search and Rescue and Non Combatant Evacuation Operations in times of need.
Lauding the efforts, during the address to 109th Midshipmen commissioning parade Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said that in order to pursue our national interests with strategic autonomy, we have now decided to institute Regional Maritime Security Patrols, independently, in the Indian Ocean Region.
The Regional Maritime Security Patrol initiative is in line with the UN Resolutions and UN Convention on Law of the Sea. The initiative is aimed at maintaining robust security posture in the critical sea areas and choke points in the Indian Ocean Region for protection of national and international shipping against the threats of maritime terrorism, piracy, narco-arms smuggling and human trafficking etc.
BY: Salahudsin Haider