THE aftermath of World War II witnessed many drastic changes on the global politico-military and socio-economic arenas which gave incessant urge to fill the vacuum of power by the war glorious nations, especially US and erstwhile Soviet Union.
Once close allies of War-wed-lock became competitors on the world stage and engaged in the cold war.
Cold war further beheld emergence of various military, economic and political alliances as quintessential for devastating nations to guard their national and economic interests.
NATO, Warsaw Pact, SEATO, CENTO, United Nations, European Economic Community (presently European Union) and Non Aligned movement are prominent few.
The chess board of world arena entailed strategically smart and intelligent moves for survival of the fittest.
Since, the conquerors of WW-II had large navies; they had already started to guard their military and economic interests through near permanent presence at maritime economic hubs and choke points.
However, the common thread between all these scenarios was establishment of the notion that peace and stability is cine qua non in all its forms.
The very concept was further strengthened after 9/11. Navies have inherent reach and flexibility which makes it very significant element of national power in peace time as well as in war time for furthering national interests through constabulary and benign roles.
In present day, geo-strategic situation at maritime domain has evolved. The vastness of oceans and threats posed in maritime domain do not respect boundaries as their effects are felt globally.
The threats to maritime security increasingly emanate from contemporary asymmetric challenges like terrorism, piracy, narcotics, arms and human smuggling have great impact on the maritime environment.
Consequently, there was a strong realization that no one nation can single handedly cope with the quantum of this prevailing threat, making cooperative maritime strategy a matter of compulsion.
Consequently, maritime nations resorted to form maritime alliances, conduct of naval drills to enhance interoperability among global navies to collectively handle maritime challenges.
To demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to peace, contribute towards regional maritime security and enhance cooperation and interoperability between regional and extra regional navies, Pakistan Navy took an initiative of holding Multinational exercise AMAN in 2007, which is being conducted biennially.
Over a passage of time, Pakistan Navy message got wider acceptance with number of participants steadily increasing.
Till to date seven exercises have been conducted and 8th exercise is planned in Feb 23 andnumerous countries around the world have been invited.
The increasing number of participants reflects growing trust among the regional countries and growing value of AMAN exercise.
The exercise aimed to consolidate the process of collaborative maritime security among the countries across the globe; to demonstrate joint resolve against the threats emanating from the maritime domain; to enhance interoperability among the participating nations; and to achieve share understanding of maritime security operations, counter-terrorism operations and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations (HADR).
To achieve these objectives, the exercise has been designed in such a way that it is divided into two phases; Harbor and Sea.
In harbor phase activities, such as Friendly Sport Matches, International Cultural Display, are being conducted.
Whereas in sea phase, International Fleet Review is carried out along with other various exercises to practice response against maritime security threats in a multinational environment.
Moreover, Special Forces teams of the participating nations take part in the counter-piracy operations in order to develop Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) for combined action against asymmetric threats at sea.
This time alongside AMAN-23, an important maritime conference is going to be held for the first time at Karachi Expo Center.
Pakistan International Maritime Expo and Conference (PIMEC) is an initiative of Pakistan Navy which is being organized under the patronage of Ministry of Maritime Affairs in order to jump start development of maritime sector in Pakistan and spur Blue Economy.
PIMEC is scheduled from 10 to 12 Feb, 2023 and the exhibition will bring together stakeholders and companies from diverse maritime fields to exploit and explore the potential of Blue Economy.
It is actually to venture new chapter where we explore the true potential of much more that is to follow. Not only it will give us livelihood and vibrancy to our economy but also provide endeavors to mitigate climate change effects.
Maritime security challenges in the Indian Ocean have acquired international dimensions. Cooperation between international navies therefore, is imperative to counter the emerging threats at sea.
Pakistan, being a major stakeholder in maritime security of Indian Ocean Region, is fully committed to ensure freedom of navigation and lawful maritime order.
Hosting and conduct of series of Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN under the auspices of Pakistan Navy is a big stride towards this direction.
Upcoming AMAN-23 Exercise is expected larger participation of countries across the globe, with their warships, aircraft, helicopters, Special Operation Forces, Explosive Ordnance Teams, Marines and Observers which is conspicuous manifestation of poise and confidence on Pakistan in joining hands for common resolve of peace, stability and lawful order at sea.
The exercise will also serve as a reflection of the strong ties between Pakistan and global navies and display of converging strategic interests which will go a long way in promoting maritime security and stability in the region.