Pakistan concludes 45-nation naval exercise in the Arabian Sea

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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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PNS Moawin, a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on 16 October 2018, is refueling PNS Aslat and PNS Saif during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Pakistan Air force’s JF Thunder are flying past during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Fleet commander Pakistan Navy Commodore Muhammad Saleem, right, speaking to Media naval exercises Aman-19 here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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PNS Moawin, a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on 16 October 2018 is refueling PNS Aslat and PNS Saif during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Forty-Five countries, including Kingdom Saudi Arabia, US, U.K, Australia, Italy, and China participated in Pakistan’s multinational exercises Aman -19. (AN Photo)
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Pakistan naval ships are conducting depth charge (RDC) firing during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Twenty-one naval warships of different countries, including US, China, U.K, Pakistan, Italy, and Australia participated in International Fleet Review at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
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Helicopters of Pakistan Navy are flying past during multinational naval exercises Aman-19 at Arabian sea around 40 nautical miles away from Karachi here on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019. (AN photo)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Pakistan concludes 45-nation naval exercise in the Arabian Sea

  • Final day of Aman-19 saw refueling of ships, surface firing, flypast, and an international fleet review
  • Event sends out loud and clear message that Islamabad is not alone, top official says

KARACHI: The final installment of the Aman-19 naval exercises, which were hosted by Pakistan in the Arabian Sea, concluded with an international fleet review here on Tuesday.
President Dr. Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the event which began on Friday last week.
Around 21 naval warships of different countries — including Pakistan, the US, China, the U.K, Australia, and Italy ---acknowledged Dr. Alvi with a mark of respect during the international fleet review.
Earlier, as part of the exercise, the PNS Moawin – a Pakistan Navy’s fleet replenishment tanker commissioned on October 16 last year – conducted the refueling exercise for PNS Aslat and PNS Saif.
After being refueled, the PNS Aslat and PNS Saif maneuvered to the front and rear end of the PNS Moawin for a Rocket Depth Charge firing in a mock attack on submarines. In the third phase, they were joined by Turkish and Chinese ships for surface firing.
A flypast by aircraft belonging to the navy — and including helicopters of Chinas, Turkey, Italy, Australia, and the Pakistan Air force’s JF-17 Thunder — were some of the highlights of the fourth phase of the exercises.

Sharing details of the event, Commodore Muhammad Saleem told Arab News that 45 countries had participated in the drill. “The level of participation varied,” he said, adding that “around 12 navies, including those of the US, UK, China, Turkey, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Oman participated with their warships” while others acted as observers.
“The harbor phase has ended and today was the sea phase, which concluded with the international fleet review which is the final event of this exercise,” the naval official said, adding that after the conclusion of the drill, some countries will leave while others will stay back for joint exercises.
“The purpose of these biannual drills [which] started in 2007 is to sit together and learn from each other’s experiences with respect to combating piracy, counter-terrorism, and combating smuggling through sea,” he said.
Detailing the benefits of the exercise for Pakistan, he said that when the navies of different countries sit together, it sends out a diplomatic message which is loud and clear. “The message is that Pakistan is not isolated. It’s an important country not only in the region but in the world community as well. It also highlights the value that other countries give to the Pakistan Navy,” he said.
With respect to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said, Pakistan’s navy has instilled a sense of safety mechanism and security in all CPEC-related activities, which will be done through the sea. “Pakistan has also setup the taskforce 88, which patrols around Gwadar and adjacent areas and provides security to all ships that arrive in or leave the Gwadar port,” he said.
Pakistan is fully responsible for the security, he said “but of course when a large number of countries gather at our platform it also gives a strong message that this route is safe and secure. So, indirectly this exercise will augment the security and safety of this region”.
Earlier on Monday, the three-day International Maritime Conference organized along the theme of “Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region” concluded in Karachi. 
Federal Minister for Defense, Pervez Khattak, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that the current maritime threats and the emerging geo-strategic situation was posing new challenges and risks to all stakeholders in the region. 
“The situation will provide constructive dialogue and develop collective mechanism,” he said expressing confidence that the deliberations and recommendations made during the conference will provide crucial insight to maritime stakeholders for effective policy-making.
“CPEC is rightfully considered a gamechanger, not only for Pakistan but for the economic well-being and prosperity of the entire region. With the progress of CPEC and Gwadar port, maritime activities would increase manifold, especially in the western Indian Ocean,” he said, adding that the responsibilities of the country’s navy would increase with time, especially in terms of maintaining a secure maritime environment for the smooth flow of sea trade.


Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

Updated 15 February 2019
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Pakistan gets ready to woo Saudi crown prince

  • Pakistan is collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Crown Prince
  • Pakistan expects to sign multiple investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan was rescheduling flights, blocking-off luxury hotels, and — according to one report Friday — collecting 3,500 pigeons and colorful balloons to release during a welcome ceremony for Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Islamabad is hoping to sign a raft of investment deals and other agreements during the two-day visit, which begins Saturday and will include talks with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the powerful army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Banners heralding the crown prince were already lining the streets of the capital Friday, while the Express Tribune newspaper reported that authorities were trying to catch so many pigeons for a welcome ceremony that they were forced to collect birds from other cities.
Police, the armed forces, and the Saudi Royal Guards will provide security, a senior Islamabad police official told AFP.
The capital’s “red zone,” which houses Parliament House and the Presidency, was to be sealed off, while civil aviation authorities have been told to reschedule flights during the prince’s arrival and departure.
Authorities in the capital said two five-star hotels had been ordered to cancel all advance bookings as the rooms will be reserved for the prince’s entourage.
Earlier in the week local media reported that the crown prince’s personal belongings — including luxury vehicles and his own gym — were flown to Pakistan in two C130 airplanes.
The visit came as regional tensions spiked after neighboring India accused Islamabad of harboring militants behind a deadly attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
At least 41 paramilitary troops were killed in a suicide blast Thursday, with Indian media reporting that the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing to sign a record investment package with Pakistan, including a $10-billion refinery and oil complex for the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman said Islamabad is seeking to sign a number of other deals, including one “combating organized crime.”
Khan has been courting its Gulf allies for months as he seeks to stave off an ongoing balance of payments crisis and reduce the size of any potential bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have together offered Islamabad some $30 billion in investment and loans.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are also participating in talks with the US and other countries seeking to bring the Taliban to the table for peace negotiations with Kabul after more than 17 years of war.
The Taliban have claimed their representatives will visit Islamabad on Monday, after Salman leaves.