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Friday, April 12, 2024

Pakistan yet to become a Maritime Nation

News Desk |

Pakistan holds an important geostrategic position in the world. It is located at the crossroads of civilizations which enables it to engage different regions of the world. It is due to this significance that it was singled out for the location of CPEC which is a cornerstone of the Belt and Road Initiative. And the Pakistani port of Gwadar will be the foundation of this mega project heralded as a global game changer.

Pakistan is blessed with 2,90,058 square kilometers of sea waters and 1047 kilometers long coast. Annually about 36,000 ships sail through its water that is about 40 percent of total global ship sail. As sea lies in the south of the country so the majority of the Pakistani population has not even physically seen the sea which has caused ‘National Sea Blindness’.

Timely seaward awareness for the masses, especially for the policymakers, is a vital necessity. It was for his purpose that the Maritime Study Forum initiated the Maritime Winter School to help affiliate the academic circles with knowledge of the Maritime domain. The School was held at Bahria university from 23 to 27th December 2018. Its closing ceremony was attended by policy makers, academicians and members of the press.

The Pakistani port of Gwadar will be the foundation of this mega project heralded as a global game changer.

Capt (r) Jamil Ahmed Khan, Member National Assembly and Parliamentary Secretary for Maritime Affairs has said that we have to become a ‘maritime nation’ not only to grow further but also to answer the emerging challenges in future. He was speaking at the concluding ceremony of ‘Maritime Winter School – 2018’ which was jointly organized by Maritime Study Forum (MSF), Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, and National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) at Bahria University, Karachi.

The workshop was attended by a number of experts and researchers working on issues related to maritime affairs representing various universities and think tanks across the country. The participants of the workshop shared with each other their research endeavors pertaining to the maritime sector and deliberated to devise a national maritime research agenda for the next year keeping in view the emerging policy and national needs.

Read more: President launches first Maritime Doctrine of Pakistan

Jamil Ahmed Khan commended the collaborative efforts made by the three institutions in conducting such a valuable workshop and stressed on the need to raise awareness over the importance of maritime issues in the country. Underscoring the need to exploit the maritime potential of Pakistan he said, the present government was making efforts to devise a comprehensive maritime policy by taking all the stakeholders on board.

Admiral (r) Asaf Humayun, Khalid Rahman, executive president, IPS, Dr Syed Mohammad Anwer, president, MSF, Bilal Abdul Ghaffar, member Sindh Assembly and facilitators of the workshop Dr Najam Abbas, Dr Azhar Ahmad, Dr Aneel Salman, Cdr (r) Baber Bilal were also present on the occasion. The ceremony concluded with the distribution of mementos and certificates to the workshop participants by the chief guest.