As a matter of policy, the Pakistan Navy (PN) supports the traditional freedom of navigation on the high seas and would not like to see international law undermined. Preventing terrorism at sea and curbing its links with transnational crime are high on the PN’s agenda. Considering Pakistan’s heavy reliance on sea trade, the most significant challenge for the navy is to ensure a safe and secure environment in the North Arabian Sea.
While fulfilling national-defense requirements, the PN is also providing security to the major waterways through which the world’s oil flows. In the aftermath of 9/11, security of these waterways has become an international concern. The navy plays a lead role in support of international efforts aimed at maintaining maritime order in this region. Being fully conscious of the emerging maritime situation, the PN has all along remained engaged with coalition maritime forces and actively participates in Combined Task Forces 150 and 151.
In addition to participation in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan and counter-piracy operations, the service has taken on other initiatives for collaborative maritime security. In this regard, the Aman series of exercises, first initiated in 2007, has become a biennial event. The fourth Aman exercise was conducted from 4–8 March 2013 at Karachi and participation by a large number of navies (29 to be precise) was a manifestation of the common objective to be united against contemporary maritime challenges. This also justifies the slogan of exercise Aman which calls for being “Together for Peace.”
In the same spirit of constructive engagement, the PN has accorded due focus to maritime diplomacy, and in the last five years our ships have docked at the ports as far as Shanghai, New York, Cape Town, Darwin, and Tokyo. All these activities clearly demonstrate that the PN is fully cognizant of the global trends that can have an influence on our national security. Consequently, the PN has well-articulated policies, alliances, and partnerships in place to ensure that national security is not undermined in any way.