Written by: Bakhtawar Munir,
The Indian Ocean, the third largest ocean in the world, covers roughly 27% of global maritime space. The Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs), transiting through Indian Ocean, are of fundamental importance as far as global maritime connect is concerned. The Indian Ocean is a relatively enclosed water body in comparison with Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The periphery of this ocean is surrounded by several states which share competing interests in Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean centric choke points, stretching from Suez Canal in West, and Malacca Straits in East, are of pivotal economic and strategic importance. Strait of Hormuz, the choke pant in Persian Gulf, is the life line of global oil economy as the oil from oil-rich gulf nations enter into global market after passing through these strait. This strait is the core of regional power politics as it has the potential of shaping the global economy.
Pakistan is located in north of Indian Ocean, close to Strait of Hormuz, and has sovereign control over 290,000 Sq. Kms. of maritime area. The maritime area of interest of Pakistan stretches as far as Southern Indian Ocean. The security of regional SLOCs and Pakistan’s maritime connectivity with rest of world is the key security objective of Pakistan Navy. Maritime security involves the security of maritime domain and all activities associate with it. This include security of national sovereignty, maritime economy, marine environment and maintenance of law and order, in the maritime domain.
When it comes to the Indian Ocean, Pakistan is compelled to fulfil a number of obligations. It is critical to note that our geographic position is extremely crucial. It is also a meeting point for three different civilizations. It manifests itself as a result of this entry point into the area, which is quite significant. The fact that so many more regional troops are taking an interest in this area is due to the significance of this region. We are fortunate to have this location since it provides access to both the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.
In terms of both energy supply and trade, Pakistan is completely reliant on the Indian Ocean, which accounts for nearly all of its imports and exports. We will suffer catastrophic repercussions if there is any disruption in either oil supplies or international trade. We also have a 290,000 square-kilometer of maritime area. Shortly put, there is a great deal at risk for Pakistan in this particular sector. It becomes extremely vital for the Pakistan Navy to play a role in such an environment. Pakistan is a developing country with limited resources to handle the country’s rising geostrategic, political, social, economic, environmental, and technical concerns.
The Arabian Sea, which is part of the Indian Ocean, is secured by Pakistan’s second biggest fleet in South Asia, which is also the world’s second largest. The Pakistan Navy’s (PN) mission has evolved drastically in the post-Cold War era. For a long period of time, the navy’s principal duty was to serve as a formidable combat force that was always prepared to defend the country’s territorial seas. The new strategic adjustments have expanded the PN’s duties in order to address these issues.
India is increasing its position of power and control in the Indian Ocean region by deploying naval forces around the region and establishing favourable connections with states located within the Indian Ocean region. There are also a huge number of states that are continuously threatened by their neighbors. Pakistan also hopes to benefit from India’s worldwide isolationist campaign against Pakistan. India has also developed strong connections with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, both of which have previously aided Pakistan and maintain cordial relations with the country. Pakistan has occasionally taken the lead on collaborative projects, the most recent being the US$20 billion project in the nation. Pakistan should also take this step, since it will benefit the country. Pakistan should strengthen its cybersecurity and maritime technology to overcome threats at Arabian Sea.
Written by: Bakhtawar Munir,