Islamabad: The Pakistan Navy is set to host multi-national naval exercise ‘Aman 2019’ in February in the North Arabian Sea.

More than 40 countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, Japan, Russia, UK and US will take part in the 6th exercise of the naval series held every two years.

“Aman 2019 exercise with the resolve of ‘Unity for Peace’ aims at boosting the joint operational capabilities of the participating countries’ naval forces for peace and stability in the region,” according to a Pakistan Navy (PN) spokesperson. The international naval exercise is also a “manifestation of Pakistan’s commitment in promoting peace and stability in the region through harmony and collaboration.”

The idea behind exercise Aman (Urdu word for ‘peace’), which started in 2007, is to identify areas of common interest for participating countries and a shared understanding of maritime security operations, counter terrorism operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

The exercise, to be followed by an international maritime conference, aims to safeguard and promote regional peace, display united resolve against maritime terrorism and crimes as well as enhancing readiness and interoperability between allies.

To participate in pre-exercise activities, two Japanese Naval P3C aircraft of Deployed Maritime Force for Anti-Piracy Enforcement (DAPE) have arrived at PNS Mehran in Karachi. The visiting Japanese aircrew participated in various activities, including Search & Rescue (SAR) and Counter Piracy (CP) Exercises, along with Pakistan Navy team.

The visit by Japanese aircraft and crew reflects “a strong mutual desire to improve the level of coordination and interoperability at the operational and tactical level” according to a statement by PN. The arrival of Japanese aircraft was termed “a hallmark of maritime partnership between Pakistan Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force” which would further foster navy-to-navy relations as well as diplomatic and military ties between the two countries.

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi visited Bahrain and Jordan to enhance naval partnerships. On January 23, Admiral Zafar also held meetings with Commander-in-Chief Bahrain Defence Forces Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Commander US Naval Forces Central Command Vice Admiral James Malloy and Commander Combined Task Force 150 Commodore Darren Garnier of Royal Canadian Navy in Bahrain to discuss defence-related collaborations.

Pakistan’s geo-strategic location, at the crossroad of world energy routes, offers the country a unique opportunity to achieve socio-economic prosperity, according to the Pakistan Navy chief. The Arabian Sea is one of the most important international trade routes and the Pakistan Navy through its initiatives and diverse activities has emerged as a key player in the region’s collaborative maritime security paradigm.

Objectives of Aman 2019

• Display of united resolve against maritime terrorism and crimes.

• Contribute towards regional peace and stability.

• Enhancing interoperability between regional and extra regional navies.