Ms Hadiya Siddiqui
Advocating peace, Pakistan Navy has had the privilege of conceiving and hosting the AMAN series of exercise ever since 2007. The endeavor, which has played a critical role in boosting the morale of Pakistan Navy, encompasses multinational exercise with friendly regional and extra regional naval forces. The goal is to strengthen the ties, enhance compatibility and mutual understanding amongst navies to ensure efficient Maritime security in the Indian Ocean.
Pakistan Navy, interacting with the all the participating navies through joint bilateral and multilateral exercises, has proudly been able to claim the growing stature of the exercise and the largest participation of representatives of about forty-one friendly nations – making it one of the largest warfare exercises ensuring peace and stability in the world.
Organizing biennially, the Exercise AMAN since 2007, the Seventh of the Multinational AMAN exercise series has been scheduled in February 2021. With the aim to build up Responses, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures against conventional and unconventional threats through strategic warfare planning, along with meticulous warfare serials at the sea like Naval Gunfire, VBSS, Anti-piracy, Operations, Combine Anti-Submarine Exercise, Communications, Boarding and Air Defence.
AMAN series of exercises play an important role for formation of a joint strategy and consensus approach for the global maritime security. The basic purpose of the exercises include enhancement of professional expertise in capability of joint operations and regional peace and security. Naval forces from across the world will be participating in the AMAN Exercises with Pakistan Navy’s declared resolve of ‘Together for Peace.’
Pakistan actively condemns terrorism in the world and having suffered first hand vows to fight it. The words AMAN means “peace” in Urdu and the exercise invites to bring more than 45 countries together under one slogan “Together for Peace”. Though not only to eradicate terrorism and pledging peace and harmony in the region, the regional navies can ensure a smooth route to prosperity via trade, by strengthening multi-layered security cooperation and enhancing inter-operability in Naval Ops and cross culture interaction.
Pakistan Navy believes in inclusive policy and if the world stands together, there will be great benefits for all. The Indian Ocean Region is experiencing swift geostrategic changes which have arose a number of challenges for Pakistan but have also provided many opportunities that promise a security improvement not only within Pakistan but also in the region at large.
With regards to the strategic security environment being transformed by tectonic shifts in global maritime trade, the growth of maritime shipping indicates an increase in security requirements in and around these critical Sea lines of communications. Regional nations that heretofore have provided periodic coastal protection may find they must expand patrols from the Strait of Hormuz to Egypt’s Suez Canal, transiting between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and down the east coast of Africa to secure the waterways. The Arabian Sea and Eastern waters would always be of immense importance and cannot be ignored. Hence, AMAN exercise also targets this particular aspect to warrant global Maritime security.
Furthermore, to combat the design to maintain Maritime Superiority by certain countries, especially in Indian Ocean, Pakistan encourages the nations to join hands and equip themselves to face traditional as well as untraditional threats in the Sea. Maritime security challenges in the Indian Ocean are both multidimensional and multifaceted. Threats such as maritime terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy have acquired international dimensions. Stymieing Maritime aspirations of conventional and unconventional threats, the AMAN exercise would help work against human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, and terrorism in the region.
Underscoring the need for robust naval presence cooperation between international navies is imperative for countering emerging threats. Mega projects offers multitude of regional and trans-regional economic prospects especially in the maritime sphere Pakistan being a major stakeholder in maritime security of Arabian Sea is fully committed to ensuring freedom of navigation and lawful maritime order.
Exercise AMAN-21 will include an International Maritime Conference, Maritime Terrorism demo, Table Top discussions on professional matters and various cross cultural activities in harbor while the sea activities will include advance naval drills and maneuvers including Antipiracy Tactics, Counter Terrorism Ops, Maritime Security Ops, surface firing practices, Search and Rescue maneuvers and an International Fleet Review.
With the inception of AMAN series of exercises, Pakistan Navy leads and emphasizes more on collaboration of different nations to work towards the same goal of making the world a safer place. Being a lead nation and a key contributor in the Indian Ocean, Pakistan’s maritime forces are actively participating with other navies in combating Narcotics trade, human smuggling, gun running, terrorism and piracy at high sea.
Hence, the 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 rather than choice and that the importance of this collaboration will enhance with the complete operation of China Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar Port – which are meant to bring prosperity not only to Pakistan but the region and beyond.