Pakistan hosted 13th High Level Meeting (HLM) of the Heads of Asian Coast Guards Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) in Islamabad. Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) hosted the meeting as the Director General PMSA, Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar is the Chairman of this regional forum for one year. The HACGAM is an annual high-level multilateral forum. The heads and delegates of Coast Guards, Maritime Security and Safety Agencies and Organizations from Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Bahrain and Brunei Darussalam represented their respective countries in the forum.
The HACGAM brings together various Asian maritime organizations for sharing their law enforcement and benign ops experiences and discussing issues relating to law and order at sea and common good of the region. The forum was instituted by Japan in 2004. Maritime issues such as search and rescue, security, pollution control and law enforcement at sea remain the core focus areas. Additionally, capacity building of Coast Guards as well as maritime security and safety organizations, cooperative engagements and overall maritime security and safety issues are also discussed amongst member states to promote safe and secure shipping and member states to make cooperative efforts. PMSA became member of this forum in 2006.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi graced the opening session as the chief guest. Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Defence, and Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Naval Staff along with senior military and civil officials attended the session. The Prime Minister in his address he said that Pakistan remains fully committed to maintaining good order at sea and is always ready to cooperate on maritime issues of global concern. Earlier, in his welcome address, Rear Admiral Jamil said that ‘a stable maritime environment is the key to global peace and progress’. He also said that ‘all the organizations represented in this forum are committed to continue cooperating in combatting the contemporary maritime security challenges’.
The role of PMSA as the sole maritime Law Enforcement Agency of Pakistan remains vital to enforce national and international laws in the maritime zones of Pakistan. To undertake constabulary and humanitarian operations at sea, PMSA is equipped with numerous potent sea-going platforms as well as aircraft, including newly acquired patrol vessels and fully functioning coastal bases.
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