Gwadar port will improve volume of trade, says Pak Navy Chief

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Karachi [Pakistan], Dec. 15 (ANI): Pakistan's chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah has said that the Gwadar port is not in competition with any other port but it is better for the whole region as the volume of trade will increase. He was speaking at the closing session of International Maritime Conference (IMC) on the CPEC and the Gwadar Port. The conference was organized under the auspices of Pakistan Navy in coordination with Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform and Parliamentary Committee on CPEC. IMC, under the theme 'CPEC & Gwadar Port as Harbinger of Regional Integration and Maritime Economic Development', was aimed at examining the politico-strategic, maritime economic and security dimensions of the CPEC project and the challenges and opportunities arising in the economic domain from its implementation. The opening session of the day dwelled on the theme of maritime security andcommenced with the keynote address by Professor Xu Ming, Executive Director Glorious Sun Institute of Management - Donghua University. Xu said that the CPEC is a great strategic design, that would greatly benefit Pakistan and China. The Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Siddique, chaired the opening session. Andrew Small, Senior Trans-Atlantic Fellow, while presenting a paper on "CPEC-Emerging security paradigm in the Indian Ocean", said that CPEC is unique in a sense that it is a power settler in the region, andthus, shall be accessible to all states, and therefore, one should refrain from counter-productive competition. Speaking on the CPEC and the importance of maritime security, Vice Admiral (retired) Asaf Humayun said that keeping in view the enhanced spectrum of threats due to hybrid warfare by adversaries, there is a dire need to augment the capabilities of Pakistan Navy and the Maritime Security Agency to fulfill the needs of a multi layered defence system for an effective seaward defence of the CPEC and Gwadar Port. "The Pakistan Navy also needs to enhance interaction with PLA Navy as well as a full-fledge Naval Base at Gwadar is inevitable", he underlined. Vice Admiral (retired) Iftikhar Ahmed Rao, presenting the last paper of the session on "Geo Politics and Maritime Security: changing dynamics of North Arabian Sea", said that Gwadar is the nucleus of the 'One Belt One Road (OBOR)'. He said that the CPEC will be just an extension of Karakoram Highway without the Gwadar Port, as it's the sea part which makes the CPEC global. "Therefore, the traditional mentality that land outweighs sea must be abandoned," he added. Senator Mushahid Hussein Sayed emphasized that Gwadar is the hub and centre piece of the CPEC and it is the way forward for Pakistan in the 21st century. He added that Gwadar and Chahbahar are sister ports and there has to be road and rail connectivity between Pakistan and Iran. Sayed said his address saying that the Pakistan Navy's role in maritime security and the CPEC is pivotal and therefore, there is a need for policy making on maritime economy. He also complimented the Pakistan Navy on raising a dedicated Task Force 88 for maritime security of the CPEC. The Navy Chief Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah thanked all participants, speakers and foreign dignitaries for making the conference a success. (ANI)