Pakistan Navy reiterates its pledge towards development of maritime sector

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Karachi: World Maritime Day is celebrated every year to focus on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and marine environment. This year, the theme of World Maritime Day is ‘Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet’.

Shipping provides dependable connectivity and the most economical means of transporting goods: linking economies and communities across the globe. International economies are overwhelmingly dependent on shipping activity which carries nearly 90% of global trade served by over 4500 major ports worldwide. Increasing traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges as well as rising pollution levels are affecting freedom of navigation and marine environment. Owing to their magnitude and diversity, there is a growing realization that no nation can tackle these challenges alone. It is thus a collective responsibility of all maritime nations to contribute and collaborate in countering maritime security challenges besides adopting international regulations and best practices for promoting an environment conducive for sustainable shipping industry.

Pakistan is blessed with over 1000 Km coastline. Sea trade is the backbone of our economy. Over 95% of our trade is through sea, yet Pakistani Flag carriers carry around 16% of our total seaborne trade. As the CPEC and Gwadar Port are set in motion, maritime activities in Pakistan are bound to increase manifold. There is a need to capitalize on the associated economic opportunities which would only be possible by developing our maritime sector. In this regard, declaration of 2020 as ‘The Year of Blue Economy’ by the GoP is a step in the right direction.

Pakistan Navy, besides fulfilling its core responsibility of seaward defence, is leading the way to create maritime awareness in the country and promote Blue Economy. Pakistan Navy is enhancing regional maritime security through continuous constructive engagements with international partners and by undertaking Regional Maritime Security Patrols. Coastal Security & Harbour Defence Force comprising a network of coastal security stations and a state of the art Joint Maritime Information and Coordination Centre at Karachi, duly supported by the Fleet, Pak Marines and SOF elements, are working day and night to ensure maritime security, maintain vigilance and respond to any emerging situation all along our coast.

The Pakistan Navy is laying special focus on reducing marine pollution and promoting safe and sustainable use of sea resources. Some of the major initiatives undertaken by PN over the years include construction of boats for collection of solid waste in harbour, establishment of sewage water treatment plants in all areas under its jurisdiction and refinement in SOPs to tackle oil pollution at sea. The Pakistan Navy has also planted over 5 million mangrove saplings during the last three years along the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan to help protect marine ecosystems.

On this World Maritime Day, Pakistan Navy pledges full support towards development of the maritime sector in general and shipping industry in particular. We also reaffirm our commitment and resolve for eradication of marine pollution for a clean and green environment. I look forward to sincere efforts by all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development in Pakistan’s maritime sector.

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