Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah,
Commandant Pakistan Navy War College
General Flag and Air officers
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed my pleasure to inaugurate the building of the Pakistan Navy War College in Lahore. I am sure that this new edifice will adequately cater to the needs of the ever increasing training requirements of the Pakistan Navy. Quite far away from the sea shores, this building will remind Lahore of the steadfast role Pakistan Navy is playing in guaranteeing the safety of Pakistan’s maritime boundaries.
I am sure that Pakistan Navy War College located in this state of the art new building will build on its already illustrious traditions and history, by furthering national maritime interests with greater diligence. I am also confident that College will continue to foster foreign military relations through training officers from friendly countries, as well as inculcating maritime awareness among the academia of Pakistan.
I would also like to point out that a huge quantum of seaborne trade plies through the Indian Ocean of which we are an integral part. These sea lanes are the jugular veins of world trade, any interruption of which has the potential to disrupt global economy and impact global security.
Pakistan is strategically located around the nucleus of the Arabian Sea, surrounded by three continents and over 50 coastal and hinterland states. Any ecological, social and political imbalance in this region not only casts a lengthening shadow throughout the area, but also affects the security and stability of Pakistan. Consequently, we must always remain cognizant of our effective role in the maritime affairs of this region and be prepared to play our due role.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to observe that the Pakistan Navy has matured into an effectively reliable force conducting a wide range of operations independently, as well as in collaboration with other navies. The Pakistan Navy’s participation in CTF 150 & CTF 151 has been lauded at international forums.
Initiatives such as holding of Aman exercises and International Maritime Conferences along with participation in international forums such as the Western Pacific Naval Symposium and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium are commendable efforts. These initiatives serve to project Pakistan’s image and promote the Pakistan Navy as an effective instrument of the country’s foreign policy and diplomacy.
I feel proud to have learnt that Pakistan Navy is constructing indigenous large warships and potent Fast Attack Craft through revival of the Karachi Shipyard. I wish to reiterate that the emphasis should remain on indigenous construction and joint ventures through transfer of technology.
I am aware that Pakistan Navy has recently developed a comprehensive National Maritime Policy, soon to be formalized. I am informed that the first ever Maritime Doctrine of Pakistan, stipulating the National Maritime Strategy, is in the final stages of completion. I consider such endeavors a worthy service to the nation and hope that they will go a long way in expanding the maritime culture in Pakistan.
Let me assure the national maritime community that the Government is not oblivious to developments in the region and the urgent need to address national maritime issues. The Planning Commission is already working to formulate a Maritime Vision for Pakistan. I wish to emphasize that the first Shipping Policy of Pakistan was prepared and launched during my watch as Prime Minister earlier on.
I also wish to apprise you that my government is actively working to make the Gwadar port fully functional at the earliest and develop the Gwadar-Kashgar link. Under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor portfolio, some of the most important and Early Harvest Projects include construction of an airport, expressway link and a powerhouse in Gawadar. Our intent is to develop Gwadar into a world class port with all the requisite infrastructure, support and municipal facilities to serve not only Pakistan’s maritime and economic needs but of the region as well.
I am fully aware of the resource constraints and the pressing requirements of Pakistan Navy, but will ensure that all necessary resources are marshaled towards strengthening the maritime defence of the country. I take it as my duty because a well-equipped navy is integral to Pakistan’s security and economic prosperity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are going through defining moments of our history. Our valiant armed forces are combating and eradicating the menace of extremism and terrorism from our soil. In the process, they are making tremendous sacrifices of which the entire nation is proud.
Pakistan desires peace and tranquility both within and outside its borders so that the much needed socio-economic development goals are achieved. We cannot afford to be distracted in fulfilling our national objectives. At the same Pakistan will never compromise on its sovereignty and independence.
Let me assure you that my government will consistently endeavor to pursue the cherished national targets it has set to achieve. I am certain that the positive effects of our untiring efforts will be visible soon.
In conclusion I would like to congratulate the Chief of Naval Staff and the officers and sailors of Pakistan Navy, on the timely completion of this important and essential project.