PN to takeoff Aman-19 in February: Mahmood

By Monitoring Desk
Thursday – September 20, 2018
NEW YORK (United States): The chief of naval staff (CONS) admiral Zafar Mahmood, on a visit to the United States (US) to attend 23rd international sea-power symposium-2018 being held from September 18-23, 2018, informed on Wednesday that as an ardent supporter of regional peace and collaborative maritime security, Pakistan navy (PN) has planned to conduct multinational naval exercise Aman-19 in February, 2019, wherein around 50 countries, including Chinese and the American navies, are expected to join hands for a common resolve of “together for peace”.

According to an inter services public relations (ISPR) statement, during the visit, the naval chief also met with Texas’s 18th congressional district’s representative congresswoman Sheila Jackson, US department of defence (DoD) assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs Randall G. Schriver, center for a new American security (CNAS) president Richard Fontaine, the heritage foundation (THF) Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis institute for international studies (KSCDIIS) deputy director James Jay Carafano and Atlantic council (AC) chief executive officer (CEO) Fredrick Kempe in separate meetings.

During the meetings, matters of mutual interest including bilateral defence ties and security environment in Indian ocean region were discussed.

CONS Mahmood highlighted that Pakistan and US shared common perspective of having stable, secure and peaceful maritime environment to support global economy. Overall Pakistan’s commitment and performance in fight against terrorism and particularly PN’s efforts for maintaining regional peace and security were highlighted.

He reiterated the need for enhancing global efforts to effectively confront the trans-national challenges and threats in the maritime domain.

US dignitaries appreciated the role and contribution of Pakistan for maintaining peace and stability in the maritime domain.

Interactions and round table discussions with prominent US think tanks and academia were also held.

During the discussion, while underscoring the challenges to Indian ocean security, the CONS Mahmood elaborated Pakistan’s initiative of regional maritime security patrol (RMSP) which is solely aimed to shoulder international obligations towards safe and secure maritime environment in the region.

Earlier, Mahmood also met with ambassador of Pakistan to US Ali Jehangir Siddiqui. A media interaction with Pakistani and international media personnel was also held. During the interaction, the naval chief highlighted Pakistan’s maritime perspective with special focus on PN contributions to regional maritime security and opportunities offered by China Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) to the region.

Mahmood briefed that Gwadar is purely a commercial harbour and that so far no foreign warship has entered the Gwadar port.

While commenting on Pak-US relations, admiral Mahmood said Pakistan wishes to further build on its relationship with the US based on mutual respect and mutuality of interests. Pakistan will continue to support international efforts for peace in Afghanistan and believes that an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process is the only way forward.

He reminded that Pakistan is a very active member of combined task force (CTF) 151 which takes part in counter piracy and anti-narcotics operations.