- AMAN-17 formally kicks off
The multinational naval exercise AMAN-17 formally commenced here on Friday at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard, under the aegis of Pakistan Navy with a colourful flag hoisting ceremony with the navy band playing national songs.
Ships of the participating navies, observers, foreign diplomats and a large number of Pakistan Navy officers and men attended the event. Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini said that they were here for a common purpose, a common goal, to ensure security and to make this world safe for everyone.
“We believe in an inclusive policy and we think that if the world stands together, there will be great benefits for all of us.” He said that the region is experiencing swift geostrategic changes, which has provided Pakistan with diversified challenges but also many opportunities that mandate a secure environment not only within Pakistan but also in the region at large.
The admiral reiterated that the Pakistan Navy has always been a consistent security contributor in the Indian Ocean region. Being a lead nation, Pakistan’s maritime forces are actively participating with other navies in combating narcotics trade, human smuggling, gun running, terrorism and piracy at high sea. “We need to make collective efforts to eliminate these threats for a lasting peace in the region,” he added.
The importance of this collaboration will enhance with the complete operationalisation of CPEC and Gwadar Port, meant to bring in prosperity not only to Pakistan but the region and beyond, he said, adding that AMAN 17 is an effort which will surely improve response, tactics and procedures among various maritime forces operating in the region.
The concept of exercise is to promote understanding which will be developed through formal and informal interactions. The exercise is expected to further refine the concept of ‘collective and collaborative’ security among the participants. Pakistan in general and Pakistan Navy in particular takes immense pride in leading these efforts.
The fleet commander extended warm welcome to the participating navies and hoped that their presence will forge a cooperation which will prevent conflicts and should there be one, we will quickly resolve it to establish and maintain lasting peace. He also valued participating nations for supporting Pakistan’s resolve for ensuring peace in the region.
AMAN-17 is a multinational naval exercise conducted biennially by the Pakistan Navy since 2007. The exercise is based on Pakistan Navy’s initiative to bring in various navies under one umbrella. The current exercise is fifth in the series. The exercise has a growing number of participants. This year 36 nations are participating with ships, aircrafts, special operating forces, observers and speakers. One of the key features, other than sea exercise, is international maritime conference spread over three days, being organised by the National Maritime Policy Research Centre.