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September 24, 2020

Pakistan Navy vows support for development of maritime sector and shipping industry

Karachi

September 24, 2020

World Maritime Day is celebrated every year to focus on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and marine environment. This year, the theme of World Maritime Day is ‘Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet’.

The spokesman for the Pakistan Navy said on Wednesday that in his message on occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi that shipping provides dependable connectivity and the most economical means of transporting goods: linking economies and communities across the globe.

International economies are overwhelmingly dependent on shipping activity which carries nearly 90 per cent of global trade served by over 4,500 major ports worldwide, he says, adding that increasing traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges as well as rising pollution levels are affecting the freedom of navigation and marine environment.

“Owing to their magnitude and diversity, there is a growing realisation that no nation can tackle these challenges alone. It is thus a collective responsibility of all maritime nations to contribute and collaborate in countering maritime security challenges besides adopting international regulations and best practices for promoting an environment conducive for sustainable shipping industry.

“Pakistan is blessed with an over 1,000km coastline. Sea trade is the backbone of our economy. Over 95% of our trade is through sea, yet Pakistani flag carriers carry around 16% of our total seaborne trade. As the CPEC and Gwadar Port are set in motion, maritime activities in Pakistan are bound to increase manifold.”

According to the naval chief’s message, there is a need to capitalise on the associated economic opportunities which would only be possible by developing our maritime sector. In this regard, the declaration of 2020 as ‘The Year of Blue Economy’ by the GoP is a step in the right direction.

“The Pakistan Navy, besides fulfilling its core responsibility of seaward defence, is leading the way to create maritime awareness in the country and promote Blue Economy. The Pakistan Navy is enhancing regional maritime security through continuous constructive engagements with international partners and by undertaking regional maritime security patrols.

“The Coastal Security & Harbour Defence Force comprising a network of coastal security stations and a state of the art Joint Maritime Information and Coordination Centre at Karachi, duly supported by the Fleet, Pak Marines and SOF elements, are working day and night to ensure maritime security, maintain vigilance and respond to any emerging situation all along our coast.”

He further says that the Pakistan Navy is laying special focus on reducing marine pollution and promoting safe and sustainable use of sea resources. Some of the major initiatives undertaken by the PN over the years include the construction of boats for the collection of solid waste in harbour, the establishment of sewage water treatment plants in all areas under its jurisdiction and refinement in SOPs to tackle oil pollution at sea.

“The Pakistan Navy has also planted over 5 million mangrove saplings during the last three years along the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan to help protect marine ecosystems. “On this World Maritime Day, the Pakistan Navy pledges full support towards development of maritime sector in general and shipping industry in particular. We also reaffirm our commitment and resolve for the eradication of marine pollution for clean and green environment. I look forward to sincere efforts by all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development in Pakistan's maritime sector.”