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Monday June 24, 2024

Importance of Indian Ocean in maritime trade highlighted

By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2024
A seminar on “India’s maritime buildup: Implications for the Indian Ocean” hosted here by Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in collaboration with Indian Ocean Study Centre (IOSC), National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) on May 23, 2024. — Facebook/nimaisb
A seminar on “India’s maritime buildup: Implications for the Indian Ocean” hosted here by Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in collaboration with Indian Ocean Study Centre (IOSC), National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) on May 23, 2024. — Facebook/nimaisb

Islamabad: Vice Admiral Ahmed Saeed, President, NIMA, has said that the Indian Ocean was crucial for global maritime trade with around 80 percent of global oil trade passing through its chokepoints.

Admiral Khan was giving keynote address at a seminar on “India’s maritime buildup: Implications for the Indian Ocean” hosted here by Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) in collaboration with Indian Ocean Study Centre (IOSC), National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA).

Admiral Khan stressed that regional cooperation and dialogue are needed to mitigate tensions and promote stability. Vice Admiral (r) Khan Hasham Bin Saddique elaborated on the great power competition in the region. He underscored the nontraditional challenges including piracy, terrorism and human trafficking which complicate the already tense maritime security landscape.

Brig Zahir Kazmi, Director General, Arms Control and Disarmament Affairs, Strategic Planning Division, shared his insights on the Indian sea-based nuclear capabilities and their impact on deterrence stability. He elaborated on how India was expanding its nuclear weapons capabilities at sea and how it could undermine regional deterrence and could potentially lead to an arms race increasing conflict risk.

Baber Bilal Haider, Vice President NIMA, explored India’s maritime ambitions and emphasised on India’s strategic culture which was influenced by historical and ideological factors and drives its current politics. His analysis extended beyond security concerns to include regional stability and economic cooperation.

Rear Admiral (r) Syed Faisal Ali Shah emphasised the strategic importance of Gwadar port and its potential to transform regional trade dynamics while also addressing the security threats posed by India’s naval buildup. He stressed according due cognizance to the importance of maritime domain and shifting the strategic focus accordingly.

Earlier, Sohail Mahmood, DG, ISS, in his welcome remarks, stated that the Indian Ocean plays a critical role as a vital maritime corridor, connecting nations across Africa, Asia and Australia and highlighted its immense geopolitical significance on a global scale. He also elaborated on the Indian Ocean’s role as a crucial arena for diplomatic engagement and regional collaboration. He pointed out that controlling the Indian Ocean often equates with dominance over Asia, emphasising its pivotal role in shaping regional dynamics.