Pakistan Navy is ready and capable of providing security to all the maritime traffic likely to be generated once the Gwadar port is made functional under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in about six month’s time.
“Despite the arms race started by India, Pakistan will maintain a balanced fleet but we will maintain minimum credible deterrence to face any threat,” Pakistan Navy Vice Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini said while briefing media personnel on the preparedness of the Pakistan Navy. “We are quite capable of facing any challenge from any side. We are ready and we are geared up,” he added.
Briefing a 45-member media delegation, Hussaini said that with CPEC reaching operational stage soon, it was time Pakistan focused on the emerging opportunities and challenges.
The vice admiral said that the focus must be on the development of Maritime industry to meet future needs as CPEC would generate abundant business opportunities in near future.
Hussaini said that Pakistan had a 1,000 km long coastline where entrepreneurs could exploit the potential of seafood which could be worth around $2 billion.
“Pakistan currently has only nine merchant ships. Due to shortage of ships, we pay $4.5 billion each year to foreign ships. We can save a significant amount of money if we get more merchandise ships,” he added.
He said that since Pakistan now had a deep sea port at Gwadar so there was a need for building new shipyards at Gwadar and Port Qasim.
He said that like the department of Homeland Security of the US, Pakistan had established Joint Headquarter, taking on board all maritime stakeholders. He said that ship breaking industry also needed up-gradation as it was on the decline despite initial success in the recent past.