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8th Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-2023 & PIMEC Kicks Off at Karachi

The 8th edition of the AMAN series of multinational maritime exercises, AMAN 2023 (AMAN-23), which is held every two years, kicks off with a remarkable Flags Hoisting Ceremony at Pakistan Navy Dockyard (PN Dockyard) in Karachi on February 10, 2023. The ceremony was attended by a large number of senior military officials from 51 participating navies (including Pakistan Navy/PN), observers, foreign diplomats, and a large number of Pakistan Navy personnel. The start of the exercise was marked by the simultaneous hoisting of the flags of all participating AMAN-23 states. At the ceremony, Turkiye was represented by Consul General in Karachi, Cemal SANGU, and Turkish Naval Attaché Captain (Navy) Göksel ORTAMEVZİ. Turkiye was supposed to participate in the AMAN-23 Multinational Maritime Exercise with 1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) along with 1 SAT Team and 1 SAS Team. However, this was abandoned after the earthquake disaster in Kahramanmaraş on February 6th.

Date: February 11, 2023

As one of the flagship biennial events of the Pakistan Navy to express its commitment to make the sea safer for positive human activities and at the same time invite regional and extra-regional navies the AMAN-23 is being conducted from 10 to 14 February 2023 in Karachi and North Arabian Sea. Navies of 110 countries have been invited to participate and 50 Navies (51 with Pakistan) participated through Ships (a total of 9 ships from 7 Navies including PN and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency/PMSA), Aircraft, Special Operation Forces (SOF, including Explosives Ordnance Disposal [EOD] Teams and Marines Teams), Observers and Speakers.

Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral Ovais Ahmed BILGRAMI graced the occasion as Chief Guest. During the ceremony, the Message of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI was also read out. In his message, the CNS Adm. NIAZI warmly welcomed the participants of the AMAN-23 exercise. The Admiral stressed that the AMAN Exercise is a regular feature involving regional and extra-regional Navies to create a safe and conducive maritime environment for smooth and unhindered maritime activities in the region. He further underlined that the Pakistan Navy has been a pioneer in its efforts to promote joint maritime security in the region besides creating camaraderie as highlighted under the motto of the Exercise ‘Together for Peace’. Adm. NIAZI emphasized that this bond would continue to grow and bring them even closer to the popular goals of realizing regional peace and shared prosperity.

Speaking on the occasion, Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral Ovais Ahmed BILGRAMI extended a warm welcome to all the participants and thanked them for their wholehearted participation in the exercise. He sought their cooperation in achieving the goals of the Exercise and hoped that the Exercise would prove mutually beneficial to all. He also acknowledged that the flags of the participating countries from all over the world are flying together as an embodiment of the motto of the exercise “Together for Peace”.

Like all previous AMAN Exercises the Exercise AMAN-23 is also being conducted in two phases: Harbor Phase (spanned from 9-11 February) and Sea Phase (from February 12 to 13). The Harbor Phase comprises Arrival of Participating Units, Opening Ceremony at PN Dockyard, Maritime Counter Terrorism Demo by SSG(N)/Pakistan Marines, Cross Ships Visits, Calls On, international get together and pre-sail planning of evolutions at sea International Band Display and MCT Demo as well as Dinner at PNS Qasim. Whereas, the Sea Phase would include tactical maneuvers, exercises related to maritime security such as anti-piracy and counter terrorism, search and rescue, gunnery firings and air defence exercises during Harbor Phase and International Fleet Review (IFR).

Alongside AMAN-23, an important maritime conference is also being held for the first time at Karachi Expo Center. The Pakistan International Maritime Expo and Conference (PIMEC) is an initiative of Pakistan Navy which is being organized under the patronage of Ministry of Maritime Affairs to jump-start the development of maritime sector in Pakistan and to create awareness among national stakeholders and international fraternity about the huge untapped potential Pakistan’s Blue Economy. PIMEC is scheduled from February 10-12, 2023, and the Exhibition brings together stakeholders and companies from diverse maritime fields to exploit and explore the potential of blue economy. The first PIMEC showed tremendous interest with the participation of around 133 exhibitors including foreign and local companies. 6 companies including ASFAT, ASELSAN, STM and MİLSOFT from Turkey have stand at the PIMEC.

Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari graced the inauguration ceremony of PIMEC held on February 10, 2023, and the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI was also present. In addition, a large number of civil military, foreign and local delegates attended the event. The CNS Adm. NIAZI in his message to PIMEC emphasized that the Pakistan Navy, being a major stakeholder in shaping the maritime mindset of the country, is proactively playing its role in creating the necessary maritime awareness to harness the untapped potential of the blue economy. He further emphasized that this milestone event will bring together international and national stakeholders and create a marketplace for the presentation of innovative ideas while showcasing maritime potential and opportunities in this dynamic area. The Admiral further emphasized that PIMEC is a platform to reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment and commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, the exploitation of natural resources and to stimulate growth for collective and shared prosperity. In the backdrop of PIMEC, the International Maritime Conference is also organized from 10 to 12 February 2023 by the National Institute of Maritime Affairs (NIMA) under the auspices of the Pakistan Navy and with a theme of “Adapting the challenges and opportunities of the blue economy for developing countries”.