ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – September 29, 2021): Naval Chief of Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi on Wednesday said the maritime sector is the backbone of Pakistan’s economy because 95% of its trade was carried out by sea.
The Chief of the Navy in his message on the occasion of World Maritime Day (WMD) highlighted the importance of the sector and said it was celebrated annually to highlight the contributions of the international maritime industry in the global economy and to draw attention to the importance of maritime safety, maritime safety and the marine environment, a press release from the Pakistani Navy said.
This year’s theme “Sailors at the Heart of the Future of Shipping” aims to pay tribute to the professionalism and resilience of seafarers and to recognize their indispensable role in securing vital global supply chains in extremely difficult times. difficult.
Admiral Niazi said: “However, this awareness is not yet pervasive in our national calculation and intellectual discourse. The Pakistani Navy, as a stakeholder in shaping maritime thinking in the country, plays its role in creating the desired maritime awareness and in stimulating the exploitations of our huge, but untapped blue economy. ”He added that Pakistan was blessed with over 1,000 kilometers (km) of coastline and an area 290,000 square kilometer exclusive economic (EEZ) / continental shelf with abundant resources.
With the CPEC already on the move, he said maritime activities in Pakistan have increased.
“Therefore, the potential for sustainable development in Pakistan’s maritime sector must be optimally exploited to contribute to the national economy,” he said.
The navy chief said the global economy faces a major challenge from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has affected all walks of life.
In particular, he said he placed an extraordinary demand on sailors.
With thousands of people stranded on ships for months beyond their original contracts, unable to be repatriated due to domestic travel restrictions.
Likewise, many are unable to join the ships and make a living. This crew change crisis is a form of humanitarian emergency that threatens the safety of navigation. Travel restrictions and lack of shore leave add to the difficulties encountered by sailors in the pandemic, “Admiral Niazi added.
In order to alleviate their suffering, he said it was necessary to reflect on the importance of seafarers as a vital human workforce. “As the government’s chief technical adviser on all matters related to maritime affairs, I suggest that seafarers can be designated as ‘key workers’ in order to ensure their journey to and from ships without delay. They may also be authorized as a priority vaccination for this purpose, ”he said.
In addition, World Seafarers’ Day (June 25) can also be celebrated in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including the Pakistan Seafarers Union, for their contribution to the national economy, he said. he recommends.
He noted that the Pakistani Navy, apart from its main tasks, was fully aware of the importance of national human resources driving the merchant fleet around global maritime highways. “In this regard, the well-being of future seafarers, their appropriate training and qualification is ensured at the Pakistan Navy Academy,” he said.
“On this important day, we pledge to make concerted efforts for the sustainable development of the maritime sector in Pakistan while addressing the associated challenges. In this regard, I look forward to a deep and cumulative response from all stakeholders, ”he concluded.