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Lahore, “Considering the state of country’s economy it is imperative to realize Pakistan’s maritime potential, since a robust national maritime sector can be a great enabler for transition to a sustainable economic future”, said Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Naveed Ashraf addressing the closing ceremony of 6th Maritime Security Workshop at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore.

Maritime Security Workshop is Pakistan Navy’s annual event which aims to generate understanding on the dynamics of maritime security, creating awareness about blue economy and exploring untapped maritime potential of Pakistan. The workshop participants included parliamentarians, policy makers, bureaucrats, academia, entrepreneurs as well as representatives from media.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest emphasized Pakistan Navy’s commitments to raise awareness on issues of National Maritime significance and underscored PN initiatives in generating informed debate on security issues, Blue-Economy, strategic developments in the Indian Ocean Region and intense geopolitical rivalry. He also apprised the audience that Pakistan Navy is divesting resources for the socio-economic uplift of the less privileged segments of society, especially along the coastal belt.

Earlier, Rear Admiral Javaid Iqbal, Commandant Pakistan Navy War College during his welcome remarks gave a brief rundown of various activities during the conduct of workshop.

The nine day workshop brings about improved understanding of the maritime security and geopolitical underpinnings in the wider Indian Ocean. The workshop also highlighted the opportunities and challenges available in the national maritime sector of Pakistan and the manner in which it could help uplift country’s economy. The participants were briefed on the role of Pakistan Navy in defending the national sea frontiers and in advancing maritime interests of the country abroad.

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 contribution towards Pakistan’s economic prosperity and development of Gwadar Port within CPEC 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 filed visit to Gwadar Port and Jinnah Naval Base Ormara.

The participants expressed sincere appreciation for the commendable role and efforts of the Pakistan Navy in effectively addressing the maritime challenges faced by the country. Additionally, they offered valuable suggestions for the further enhancement of maritime sector, while presenting a proper on proposed maritime policy of Pakistan.