Lahore, 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 the flood victims during recent global climate induced super floods, providing them medical services and relief supplies.
The President expressed these views while addressing the Closing Ceremony of the 5th Maritime Security Workshop 2022 (MARSEW-5) held at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore. President Dr Arif Alvi graced the ceremony as Chief Guest. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, was also present on the occasion. The Closing Ceremony was attended by civil and military dignitaries.
Speaking at the Closing Ceremony, the President said 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, honour and preserving its sovereignty in decision making.
The President underlined the need to enhance the pace of decision-making, taking right and timely decisions and their implementation on timeline basis to remain abreast with 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 the strong economy was a must for gaining regional and international recognition and maintaining 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 of artificial intelligence, investing in quantum computer research and development to sustain reasonable economy outlook and to improve it on perpetual basis.
He added Pakistan did not have time on its side. It needs to take tangible steps in all pillars of the state. The Parliament needs to spend time and energy to make laws to bring reforms and to create ease for accelerated development and progress, he said. The government needs to take right decisions at the right time and bureaucracy should accelerate the implement the decisions with well-thought-out KPI’s and following a definite timeline which, he said, will help us in overcoming our financial and economic decisions and lead the country towards progress and prosperity. We should promote and encourage a system which has no space for corruption and corrupt practices, is efficient, effective and productive and capable of moving and aligning itself with the fast moving and rapidly progressing world, he said.
The President said that although Pakistan was the 5th largest country in terms of population, however, this huge human resource was not being fully utilized as over 20 million children were out of school, women were not part of the productive economic cycle due to cultural and social taboos, and enrolment rate in the higher education was only 9% as compared to 23% in the neighbouring countries. He called for enhancing the number of skilled graduates and training human resources to fully develop Pakistan’s maritime sector and develop it to its fullest potential.
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 rest of the world for promoting trade business. He said that unfortunately we could not fully exploit the sea resources with prudence as a result we had far less exports as compared to other countries with similar maritime resources and coastline.
The President also underscored the need to implement the United Nations resolutions, especially on the Jammu and Kashmir Dispute for peace and stability in the Indian Ocean Region. He added that India’s belligerence and self-professed role as the aspiring hegemon in the region would create instability in the region.
The President applauded Pakistan Navy and appreciated the successful conduct of 5th series of the workshop.
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 Collage) in promoting Blue Economy and policies concerning maritime domain.
The theme for this year maritime security workshop was “Secure Seas-Prosperous Pakistan” and the workshop was conducted in two phases. In first phase, academic discourse on security dynamics in Indian Ocean Region, challenges and opportunities in Pakistan maritime sector, Blue Economy and its contributions toward Pakistan economic prosperity, development of Gwadar Port within CPEC were dilated up.
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 PN Ship for sea trip 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 field visit to Gwadar Port and Jinnah Naval Base Ormara.
President Dr Arif Alvi also awarded the certificates to the participants of MARSEW-5.