Pakistan to have independent Regional Maritime Patrols in Indian Ocean

KARACHI:Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi on Saturday announced that the country in pursuit of its national interests and strategic autonomy will institute independent Regional Maritime Patrols in the Indian Ocean.

Addressing the commissioning parade of the 109th Midshipmen and 18th Short Service Commission (SSC) Course here at Pakistan Naval Academy, PNS Rahbar, he said Pakistan stands for peace and amity in the region.

“We seek harmonious and peaceful co-existence in the comity of nations,” said the Naval Chief of Pakistan.

He emphasized that it will be a mistake if Pakistan’s desire for peace is construed as its weakness as the country is fully capable of giving a befitting response, in case of any aggression.

The Naval Chief reiterating the firm resolve of Armed Forces in protecting the boundaries and interests of the country said they were at the forefront of the national resolve to cleanse Pakistan from the scourge of terrorism.

“Pakistan Navy on its part is maintaining a robust security posture along the Pakistani Coast and in the regional seas to deter the nefarious elements from any illicit activities in the maritime domain,” said Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi.

The Naval Chief on the occasion also referred to the strategic shift from erstwhile participation of Pakistan Navy in the Combined Task Forces 150 and 151 under the auspices of Combined Maritime Forces to Regional Maritime Security Patrols.

“In order to pursue our national interests with strategic autonomy, we have now decided to institute Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the Indian Ocean Region in line with the UN Resolutions and UN Convention on Law of the Sea,” he said.

The initiative was said to be aimed at maintaining robust security posture in the critical sea areas and choke points in the Indian Ocean Region for protection of national and international shipping against the threats of maritime terrorism, piracy, narco-arms smuggling and human trafficking.

He on the occasion advised the graduating officers to hold fast to the principles of faith, loyalty, courage and professional excellence.

The Naval Chief expressed his satisfaction that professional training on most modern lines were being offered to the cadets of the country as well as those belonging to several other friendly countries at the academy.

Earlier in his welcome address, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Commodore Syed Faisal Hameed highlighted the salient features of the officers’ training.

The Commandant mentioned that cadets from Bahrain, Maldives, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen were also undergoing training at Pakistan Naval Academy.

Later, the Chief Guest gave away prizes to the winners. The prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Gold Medal was conferred upon Lt Roheel Shahzad PN. Midshipman Kashif Abdul Quyyom was awarded the coveted Sword of Honour for his overall best performance.

Midshipman Dayyan Ahmed won the Academy’s Dirk; Officer Cadet Badar Ali was given Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gold Medal, Officer Cadet Mohammed Lahim S Aldawsri from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was awarded Chief of the Naval Staff Gold Medal and Officer Cadet Mohammad Arshad from SSC Course clinched the Commandant Gold Medal. Proficiency Banner was re-claimed by Forecastle Squadron.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of senior military officers, including Commander Royal Bahrain Coast Guards and Commander Royal Bahrain Naval Force both of whom are alumni of Pakistan Naval Academy; Ambassadors, Defence Attaches of various countries, civil dignitaries and parents of passing out midshipmen and cadets.