Islamabad, February 10, 2019 (PPI-OT): Maritime security challenges and opportunities remained in focus on the second day of the 8thInternational Maritime Conference 2019. The 1st and 2ndsessions were graced by Vice Admiral Kaleem Shaukat Vice Chief of Naval Staff and Dr. Masuma Hasan Chairman Pakistan Institute of International Affairs as Chief Guests respectively. Whereas, Lt General Afgan Taghiyev Veli Chief of Coast Guard State Border Service Azerbaijan and Vice Admiral Alexandru Mirsu Ph.D Chief of Romanian Naval Forces attended as Guests of Honour.
During the first session, Admiral William Owens Former Vice Chairman United States Joint Chief of Staff stressed upon the significance of global navies for facilitating peace and cooperation among nations. Senior Captain Shao Shuguang, Commander Task Force, PLA (N)China expressed his desire to keep the Indian Ocean stable in wake of non-traditional security threats at sea where interests of multiple stakeholders converge.
The speaker was followed by Vice Admiral Asif Khaliq, Commander Karachi who highlighted about contemporary Maritime Security challenges from Pakistan’s perspective. Last speaker of the first session was Rear Admiral Mehmet Cen Okyay, Commander of Turkish North Task Group who added that freedom of high seas is the core principle for maritime commerce and shipping.
Following session of the day was themed on Maritime Dynamics of the Western Indian Ocean Region. Eminent speakers included Dr Christian Bueger, Professor at Copenhagen University, Denmark who emphasized upon the need for security architecture in the Western Indian Ocean for a sustainable and stable future. Dr Syed Riffat Hussain, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) added that the scope of sea borne trade has expanded to new folds due combined effects of globalization and technological changes. The distinguished scholar Bhagya Senaratne, Lecturer at General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka stated that Indian Ocean is one of the busiest shipping routes of the globe that presently being confounded by distrust.
In the last session, Dr Nazery Khalid, Head of Group Corporate, Boustead Heavy Industries, Malaysia was the keynote speaker who explicated opportunities for development of a blue economy in the Indian Ocean littorals. He was followed by Vice Admiral (R) Iftikhar Ahmed who was of the opinion that CPEC will make Gwadar an unparalleled hub of economic activities. Dr Aneel Salman, Head of Business Management Program, COMSAT, presented a paper on sustainable oceanic economic growth strategy for Pakistan.
Last speaker of the session was Mr Irfan Rahim, Director Special Projects at International Maritime Organization (IMO). He emphatically appreciated Pakistan’s Navy efforts in ensuring maritime security of Global Common in Indian Ocean Region. He not only highlighted Pakistan Navy’s Maritime Security Initiative of establishing Regional Maritime Security Patrol but also appreciated PN contribution in fighting transnational crime out at sea. The conference is being attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, tri-services officers, academia, media representatives and researchers from local and international think tanks.
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