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Punjab CM Shahbaz joins dialogue on maritime security

15 May, 2014

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LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday appreciated the Pakistan Navy for introducing people of this region with the amazing potential of Pakistan's expansive maritime sector.

In the past, development of important maritime sector has been grossly ignored and the country failed to extract the benefits that this wonderful gift of nature offers, he said while addressing first session of the international maritime symposium which is first ever of its kind in north region.

"We kept relegating our seas to the degree of least significance in our list of priorities and consequently our maritime domain kept regressing," he said. "Our country's irrevocable dependence on sea, without which day to day business and functioning of our industries would cease, makes it imperative to start giving due importance to our maritime domain," he said.

The Pakistan Navy War College arranged a two-day symposium aiming to provide an academic forum for decision makers, academia and other stakeholders to engage in intellectual discourse on issues pertaining to Pakistan's maritime interests, potential and its security imperatives.

Former naval chief Admiral MA Tahir also addressed the symposium and was assertive of the fact that the Pakistan Navy has come a long way from being a defensive arm of the national security architecture to transform into a force of reckoning. Its reach, endurance and strategic firepower have all seen a spike over the past decade.

"Its professionalism has too come to earn acknowledgement with conduct of operations in multinational coalitions," he said. The admiral also said that globalization relies on shipping and Indian Ocean accounts for one half of the entire world's container traffic for which our country is on the mercy of foreign sources and this place a huge premium on national resources.

During his welcome address, War College commandant apprised the audience that this symposium was an opportunity to reflect on issues related to maritime sector and instruments of its security and symposium will help in creating awareness and enable policy makers to take right decisions across the maritime domain especially for our economic and national security.

The symposium was attended by a large number of senior naval officers, scholars, officers from sister service and international dignitaries.


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