Beijing, 11 January 2023 (TDI): The Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan, Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi, took part in an interview with Global Times, the top national English-language newspaper in China.

In the interview, he discusses how the cooperation between the warships of Pakistan and China offered a chance to improve interoperability & bilateral relations.

In this vein, Niazi highlighted the Sea Guardian series of exercises. “The exercises serve the objectives of fostering interoperability and sharing professional experience to deal with contemporary traditional and non-traditional security threats.” Naval Chief reiterated.

Notably, Pakistan’s Navy plans to host the AMAN-23 multinational maritime exercise in February this year. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy will join once again after participating in previous iterations.

Upcoming exercise & China’s participation

Admiral Niazi gave a brief explanation of the upcoming drill. He said that Exercise AMAN is the Pakistan Navy’s premier multinational maritime exercise that had been held biennially since 2007.

“The exercise will take place with the goal of developing synergy between participating naval units to solve maritime security concerns. The eighth series of Exercise AMAN will happen in Karachi from February 10 to 14, this year.” The Naval Chief informed.

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While talking about the theme of the exercise, Niazi said, “The format of the exercise has two distinct phases. First, the harbor phase will be held from February 10 to 12, followed by the sea phase from February 13 to 14.”

He informed that the Pakistan Navy is expecting a wide range of participation from across the globe, as 43 countries participated in Exercise AMAN-21, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

Purpose of joint exercise

In terms of the exercise’s purpose and goals, Niazi stated that the wider Indian Ocean region faced a number of non-traditional threats. These include terrorism, piracy, drug smuggling, and arms trafficking.

Along these lines, he expressed, “The vastness of the oceans makes the maritime arena an attractive avenue for illegal activities. No country has the capability to single-handedly counter these challenges.”

“Collaborative maritime security has become the norm, and the Pakistan Navy is actively involved in international and regional efforts. Exercise AMAN is Pakistan’s humble but focused initiative in this regard.” Niazi highlighted.

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Addressing the significance of conducting joint exercises, Niazi concluded, “The relations between Pakistan & China’s Navy are a reflection of Pakistan-China strategic ties.

It includes training exchanges, high-level visits, ship port calls & staff meetings at the expert level between the two navies.”