KARACHI - Pakistan would soon launch a Regional Maritime Patrol Campaign to bolster maritime security in the region.

This was revealed by Commander Pakistan Fleet of Pakistan Navy Vice Admiral Amjad Niazi in media briefing about multi-nation Aman-19 exercise being hosted by Pakistan.

Aman-19 which is held after every two years will commence today (Friday) in two phases and is being participated by the navies of forty six countries.

Commander Pakistan Fleet also informed that Pakistan and Sultanate of Oman have entered into an agreement in order to undertake joint maritime patrolling in the Gulf of Oman to boost maritime security in the area.

Vice Admiral Amjad Niazi said that the exercise was first held in 2007. The drills, aimed at conveying a message of peace to the world, are organised bi-annually.

Japanese aircraft take part in pre Aman-19 exercise, Niazi said, adding an international maritime conference shall also be held on the occasion.

In January, two Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force P3C aircraft of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) visited the PNS Mehran in Karachi for pre-AMAN-19 exercise activity.

The Japanese aircrew participated in various events, including search and rescue (SAR) and counter-piracy (CP) exercises along with navy aircrew.

The Japanese contingent also visited maritime and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) museums to learn about the historic achievements of the two forces.

He pointed out that the exercise has two major phases: harbour and sea phases. Harbour activities would include seminars, discussions and demonstrations.

In tandem, three days International maritime Conference will also be held on the topic “Global geopolitics in transition; Rethinking maritime dynamics in the Indian Ocean region”.

He pointed out that Pakistan has had a turbulent phase of its contemporary history, but it remained steadfast in fighting the forces of terror and tyranny. “Despite countless sacrifices and losses, Pakistan continues to be responsible state cognizant of its role and significance in the international system”, he said.

Like any maritime nation, he said that Pakistan has substantial stakes in the maritime domain.

“Our interest in safer and crime-free seas is rooted into three conspicuous realities: 1) Our extraordinary dependence on the seas for trade, 2) Operationalisation of CPEC project; and 3) Our strategic location astride the global energy highway. Cumulatively, these realities make the maritime stability as the top agenda of our national security”, he added.

Pakistan considers that maritime security isn’t just important for itself but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are strongly bonded with the seas.

“While we talk of operating together, let us be mindful of the threats and challenges that we face at seas; these range from piracy to terrorism to climate change”, Commander Pakistan Fleet added.

He continued to say that vastness of the seas presents, what he  called , a ‘complex duality’, i.e., seas provide the means to keep the world’s economy in motion whilst affording plenty of opportunities to the forces against progress and stability.

“The postulate that violent non-state actors’ threats in the maritime domain cannot be negotiated by a single country alone gets reinforced by complex duality phenomenon”, he emphasised , adding this needs a collective effort to make sure the seas remain safe and secure for all of our use.

Exercise AMAN is a manifestation of that acknowledged reality of combating maritime threats collectively, which Geoffrey Till concedes as “Maritime security being quintessentially cooperative rather than competitive”.