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Pakistan

Pursuit of military dominance in Indian Ocean threatens its potential: Qureshi

  • FM says India has nuclearized the Indian Ocean and continues to induct advanced weapons systems and naval delivery platforms to fulfill its hegemonic designs
  • Qureshi says 2020 was declared the year of the blue economy, which is a new concept that recognises the seas as an essential area for economic development
Published February 15, 2021
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(Karachi) Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that geo-strategic competition and the pursuit of military dominance by some states have gravely jeopardized the potential of Indian Ocean.

Addressing the International Maritime Conference in Karachi on Monday, he said the Indian Ocean offers promising potential for mutual cooperation and collaboration. He added that India has nuclearized the Indian Ocean and continues to induct advanced weapons systems and naval delivery platforms to fulfill its hegemonic designs.

The FM maintained that in the light of these developments, Pakistan will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure its security and to maintain credible minimum deterrence.

The minister said that the maritime sector in Pakistan requires “substantial investment” for building, operating, and enhancing its profitability. “Revenue generation for this sector, however, still lacks behind.”

The government has, therefore, enhanced its efforts for the development of the maritime sector and has marked it as a “priority area”, he revealed.

India threat to peace

Qureshi said India’s aggressive policies pose a threat to international and regional peace and security. He said the international community needs be cognizant of the fact that any military conflict in South Asia could endanger stability in a region that is critical for global trade flows and security.

He said Pakistan recognizes the importance of safeguarding the world’s oceans to promote the prudent use of marine resources for socio-economic development, while ensuring environmental sustainability.

He said Pakistan is ready to cooperate and collaborate with other friendly nations and partners around the world, to realize this goal for mutual benefit of the entire humanity.

Maritime zones blessed with resources

He highlighted that Pakistan is an important maritime state blessed with an over 1,000 kilometer long coastline. He said maritime zones of Pakistan are richly endowed with living and non-living resources.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan is an important stakeholder in the Indian Ocean security framework, which includes counter-piracy as well as human trafficking and narcotics smuggling. He said Pakistan Navy continues to maintain a robust security posture along Pakistan’s coast and in the regional seas, in order to prevent nefarious elements from illicit activities in the maritime domain.

Blue economy

Qureshi emphasised that 2020 was declared the year of the blue economy, which is a new concept that recognises the seas as an essential area for economic development.

“Blue economy is important for the reaping of socio-economic benefits for our upcoming generation,” he said, adding that the market is worth an estimated $25 trillion.

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