Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah addressed the officers of 44th Pakistan Navy Staff Course at Pakistan Navy War College Lahore

Lahore, June 16, 2015 (PPI-OT):Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah addressed the officers of 44th PN Staff Course at Pakistan Navy War College on National Security Challenges to Pakistan. He emphasized that in the face of host of internal and external challenges being faced by the nation, Pakistan Navy is well equipped, highly motivated and fully capable to defend the Maritime Frontiers of Pakistan.

Addressing the officers, Chief of the Naval Staff said that the global environment continues to be in a flux, with increased pace of transition. The waning unipolarity has given way to the multiple power centres with growing spheres of influence. In the maritime domain, control of oceans as a strategic space has emerged as a defining feature of the last few decades.

This is owing to increasing geo-political contest among the major powers for resources and political influence. The Indian Ocean Region figures out most prominently with near permanent presence of the Extra Regional Forces, both ashore and at sea. He further added that in the backdrop of the prevailing environment contemporary strategists consider that the 21st century is going to unfold as a pre-dominantly ‘maritime century’ where the destiny of the world is going to be decided at oceans.

Highlighting the versatility of military functions of the maritime forces, Admiral Zakaullah mentioned that these were well exemplified during both Gulf Wars through Offensive Operations, during the Libyan intervention in 2011 through naval blockade and lately during the Yemen Crisis through arms embargo against insurgents. All these examples underscore that naval forces without any need for a foot-print on land, are best suited for influencing the armed conflicts ashore.

Naval Chief reiterated that in the immediate aftermath of Yemen crisis, the unique flexibility of Naval Forces came in handy to provide support in the maritime domain without actually having a footprint on ground. During this crisis, Pakistan Navy was quick to respond and PN ships were deployed off Yemen coast in the Gulf of Aden. These ships evacuated 245 civilians including 50 foreigners from 13 different countries.

Underlining the maritime potential of Pakistan, the Naval Chief reminded about huge economic resources lying untapped in our Exclusive Economic Zone and the recently extended Continental Shelf as well as the immense maritime-economic potential of our coastline. Tapping of these resources are imperative to realize our full maritime potential.

While talking of development of maritime sector in the country, Naval Chief referred about Single Point Mooring near Karachi and the newly built LNG terminal at Port Qasim. The real game changer is going to be the Gwadar port when it fully realizes its potential and the related strategic development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is materialised.

The Admiral reiterated that ‘we need to be mindful that much has changed in the environment during recent decades. Existence of a volatile neighbourhood, near permanent presence of Extra Regional Forces (ERF) in Arabian Sea and the colossal increase in India’s naval arsenal are few significant factors warranting a re-orientation in our existing strategic thoughts, which are more inclined towards continental frontiers’.

On arrival at Pakistan Navy War College, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was received by Rear Admiral Abdul Aleem, the Commandant, Pakistan Navy War College. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan Navy War College in addition to its primary task of grooming future leadership of Armed Forces of Pakistan and Allied countries is also playing an important role in developing maritime awareness amongst the people of North, especially academia of Punjab.

For more information, contact:
Lieutenant Commander Shakeel Ahmad
Assistant Director
Directorate of Public Relations
Pakistan Navy
Tel: +92-21-20063210
Cell: +92-333-2171764, +92-300-2171038