50 navies visiting Pakistan to attend Aman naval exercise

Oonib Azam & Amjad Bashir Siddiqi
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

KARACHI: The Pakistan Navy is holding its eighth edition of the annual Aman multinational exercise from February 10, in which for the first time 50 countries are participating.

Naval participants from European, Eurasian, Asian and American continents are bringing together ships, aircraft, special operation forces, explosive ordnance disposal teams. Observers will also attend the multinational exercise, which will continue till February 14.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Owais Ahmad Bilgrami said services chiefs from Lebanon, Djibouti and Tanzania would also be the special guests during the weeklong exercise.

Highlighting Pakistan’s maritime concerns and interests, Vice Admiral Bilgrami said maritime stability becomes a vital national security interest owing to the country’s dependence on the seas for trade, operationalisation of the CPEC project and our strategic location astride the global energy highway. He said the importance of maritime security is not only critical for Pakistan but also for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are tied to the seas. The non-conventional threats, including piracy, terrorism, narco-arms trafficking and climate change, are equally serious. But the vastness of the oceans requires robust collaborative maritime security to fend off these issues and Aman showcases the acknowledged reality of combating the maritime threats collectively.

The sea lines of communications of the Arabian Sea, being the jugular of global and regional trade and commerce with multiple chokepoints, need to be protected from traditional and asymmetric threats and from the emerging disruptive communication technologies linked to artificial intelligence and robotics that can potentially threaten digital security including deep-water cables, energy lines and other assets.