Fifth edition of Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW-5) was held at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore. This workshop aims at generating understanding on the dynamics of maritime security, creating awareness about blue economy and exploring untapped maritime potential of Pakistan. The workshop brings together senators, parliamentarians, policymakers, bureaucrats, academia, entrepreneurs and media personalities for diverse and candid discussions on the adoption of cohesive policy approaches towards maritime security and blue economy.
President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi graced the closing ceremony as the Chief Guest. Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, was also present on the occasion.
During the address, the President said that Pakistan Navy was playing a commendable role to safeguard and protect Pakistan’s naval and maritime interests, despite resource constraints in a challenging maritime security paradigm and overall security situation. He also appreciated Pakistan Navy’s role in rescue and relief of the flood victims during the recent climate-induced super floods, providing them with medical services and relief supplies. He also added that regional countries, including Pakistan were facing challenges due to changing regional and global situation, new alliances in the making, and readjustment of priorities and preferences in multiple domains including in the maritime domain which necessitate the country to remain alert and adjust itself in the emerging situation with dignity and honor while preserving its sovereignty in decisionmaking.
The President underlined the need to enhance the pace of decisionmaking, taking right and timely decisions as well as their implementation on a timely basis to remain abreast with the rest of the world in all sectors including the global maritime security environment to fully harness the potential of Pakistan’s human, natural and maritime resources.
The President highlighted that a strong economy was a must for gaining regional and international recognition and maintaining the right balance to tread with dignity and respect in the international relations. Therefore, he added, it was imperative to explore new avenues to raise our productivity in all sectors including developing quality and productive human resource, upscaling our business, trade, investment, industrialization and powering our work processes with digitalization and infusing artificial intelligence, investing in quantum computer research and development to sustain reasonable economic outlook and to improve it on a perpetual basis.
The President highlighted the need to adopt sustainable fishing and maritime practices to safeguard Pakistan’s precious marine resources, including fish, marine flora and fauna and ecosystem. He called for using eco-friendly boats, internationally approved fishing nets and best practices and bringing in technology and expertise to catch, preserve and export marine products by maintaining internationally accepted standards and processes and promoting and encouraging sea route linkages with the rest of the world for promoting trade business. He said that unfortunately we could not fully exploit the sea resources with prudence, and as a result we had far less exports as compared to other countries with similar maritime resources and coastline.
Earlier, during the welcome note, Commandant Pakistan Navy War College, Rear Admiral Javed Iqbal, presented various activities of MARSEW, dilated on benefits achieved by the participants and envisaged role of Maritime Centre of Excellence (Think tank at PN War College) in promoting blue economy and policies concerning the maritime domain.
The theme for this year’s maritime security workshop was "Secure Seas, Prosperous Pakistan" and the workshop was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, academic discourse on security dynamics in the Indian Ocean region, challenges and opportunities in Pakistan’s maritime sector, blue economy and its contributions towards Pakistan’s economic prosperity, and development of Gwadar Port within China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were dilated upon.
During the second phase, the workshop participants visited Naval Headquarters Islamabad, various Pakistan Navy installations at Karachi, Coastal and Creeks Area for orientation and familiarization. The participants boarded Pakistan Navy Ship and witnessed various naval exercises and procedures at sea. Other familiarization visits to maritime organizations included Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Karachi Port Trust and Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, besides a field visit to Gwadar Port and Jinnah Naval Base Ormara.
The workshop participants were comprised of senators, parliamentarians, policymakers, bureaucrats, academia, entrepreneurs as well as representatives from media. The participants highly appreciated Pakistan Navy’s role and efforts to befittingly meet maritime related challenges being faced by the country and also proposed valuable suggestions.
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