LAHORE – Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila has said that oceans have an increasing strategic position in international order and security calculus of nations in the present era which is increasingly deemed as a maritime century.
He was addressing the closing session of the two-day international maritime symposium, organised by the Pakistan Navy War College and co-sponsored by the National Center for Maritime Policy Research. Different national and international scholars presented their papers and the theme for the last day was security of the maritime domain.
Admiral Sandila said the oceans were central to competing geopolitics, economic development, military and technology. “A strong navy is a global slogan these days. Navies are considered an invaluable instrument of foreign policy. They protect and preserve a nation’s maritime interest and concurrently advance its strategic interest abroad in perhaps the most rapid and sustained manner,” he said.
“By virtue of their inherent qualities, a navy is also the best force to respond to any crisis, natural disasters or swiftly answer to search and rescue calls,” the naval chief said. The Pakistan Navy has taken huge strides in spreading the maritime light across the frontiers, he said. The naval chief urged the academia of Punjab to promote maritime education.
Addressing the opening session, Defence Secretary Asif Yaseen Malik said that for a variety of reasons including land geography, continental mindset and economic limitations, Pakistan could not contribute wholeheartedly towards maritime development and maritime sector has truly struggled to survive let alone expand.
“But significance of this sector can no longer be ignored, he said. The chief guest acknowledged that ‘this city and its large academic community were perhaps never exposed to maritime issues on this scale and symposium like this provide huge momentum to the government’s resolve in this direction.
Addressing the second session, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Rashid Mahmood reiterated the importance of ocean in contemporary era which cannot be overstated. It is the maritime domain that facilitates international commerce, which advances a well-integrated global economy. The symposium was attended by a large number of national and overseas dignitaries, scholars and renowned speakers.