Islamabad : A coordinated national effort is essential to exploit and safeguard the inherent potential of Pakistan’s maritime domain and coastlines. The Pakistan Navy upholds collaboration in its international dealings; the same must also be demonstrated internally to protect the oceans and unlock the potential of the blue economy.
This was highlighted by speakers at the book launch ceremony of Maritime Security: Challenges & Responses in a Changing World, authored by Vice Admiral (r) Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Maritime Affairs, and published by IPS Press, the publishing arm of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS).
The event was organized by IPS in coordination with the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore, at the university’s campus.
The gathering was addressed by Khalid Rahman, chairman, IPS, Lt. Gen (r) Javed Hassan, acting president, UMT, Vice Admiral (r) Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, the author of the book, Dr Maliha Zeba Khan, assistant professor, NUML, Islamabad, and Dr Fatima Sajjad, head, Department of Political Science and International Relations, UMT.
The speakers observed that the book provides a comprehensive look at the multifaceted domain of maritime security. It unravels the historical background of the maritime sphere while navigating the evolution of the concept of maritime security, old and emerging sea challenges, and solutions that define this evolving landscape. Furthermore, the book explores the maritime security strategies of various regions and countries. It also discusses Pakistan’s maritime aspects and the contours of maritime economic and military security strategies.
The speakers were of the view that the book is poised to establish itself as an important guide covering all aspects of maritime security. They recommended it as an indispensable reference source for academics, policymakers, and students as it meticulously comprehends the nuances of maritime security and provides a thorough understanding through different perspectives.
Introducing the book, Rao underscored that although the maritime realm has long been the foundation of global power and international trade, it is frequently ignored. In Pakistan, this disregard for maritime matters and maritime security has contributed to the underdevelopment of coastal communities as well as hindered the realization of enormous prospects offered by the seas. The lack of research, infrastructure, and entrepreneurial attention given to the maritime sector has only added to the problem and hindered the country’s efforts to fully utilize its vast coastline.
He further maintained that nations face a multitude of challenges at sea, from piracy, illegal fishing, marine environment, and marine terrorism to trafficking in humans, drugs and firearms. These challenges underscore the vulnerability of societies and states and demand the global community to act against them in unison. As the book suggests, the response to such challenges should involve a cooperative strategy based on pragmatism and professionalism. In this regard, this work discusses the maritime security paradigms of global powers, such as the European Union, the UK, the USA, China, and India, while accentuating maritime economic and maritime military security policy of Pakistan and the robust professionalism of Pakistan Navy in the face of maritime adversity.