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Karachi: Aman 2019 kicks off with military grace


News Desk |

The five-day multinational naval exercise Aman-2019, being hosted by Pakistan Navy was inaugurated in Karachi on Friday, 8th February. The flag of 46 countries including Pakistan were hoisted and the contingents of Pakistan Navy presented a march-past. Exercise AMAN is a biennial multinational naval exercise being hosted by Pakistan Navy since 2007.

2019 is witnessing the seventh installment of these exercises. 46 countries from Western and Eastern parts of the world are participating in the exercise with the resolve of ‘Unity for Peace’, which include key western countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Vice Admiral Niazi had said that maritime security should be quintessentially cooperative instead of being competitive.

The exercise will be conducted in two phases. The harbor phase from Friday to Sunday will be followed by a sea phase on Feb 11 and 12. The Pakistan Navy’s ships, submarines, boats, marines, and Special Forces will all participate in the exercise, along with the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers. Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi was the chief guest at the opening ceremony, Radio Pakistan reported.

Ambassadors and delegates of various countries were also present at the inauguration ceremony. The curriculum includes harbour activities such as seminars, discussions, and demonstrations along with a three-day international maritime conference on ‘Global geopolitics in transition: rethinking maritime dynamics in the Indian Ocean region’.

Addressing the ceremony, Vice Admiral Niazi said that the Aman-19 exercise seeks to enhance cooperation between countries and allows them to take benefit from mutual advantages and understand each other. He said that maritime security is pivotal for national security and protection of maritime routes is also necessary for the economy. At a press briefing on Thursday, 7th February, Vice Admiral Niazi had said that maritime security should be quintessentially cooperative instead of being competitive.

Read more: Pakistan’s Vision for Maritime Security

Vice Admiral ® Iftikhar Rao, the former Managing Director of Karachi Shipyard, while speaking to Dr. Moeed Pirzada on his prime time show “Live with Moeed Pirzada” on February 6th said that the importance of maritime affairs in Pakistan gained more importance after t 9/11 and enhanced Naval cooperation between many countries in the region. “Pakistan started participating in different task forces like Coalition Maritime Petrol Campaign Plan (CMCP) and Taskforce 150 as the first country from the region”, Admiral Iftikhar said.

Expressing his views on the importance of the Aman exercise in regional cooperation and interoperability, Rear Admiral (r) Pervez Asghar, former Director General Maritime Policy Research Center, said that in 2018, 33 countries had participated in the Aman exercise. “This year will see more than 40 countries which are coming to participate in this exercise; this is because of the successful efforts of Pakistan Navy in regional cooperation”, he added.