The multinational 'Aman-17' naval exercise kicked off in Karachi Friday morning with 37 countries, including Pakistan, taking part in the event.
Nine of the visitors — Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Russia — are participating with naval assets.
'Aman-17' is the fifth such exercise that has taken place. Pakistan has been holding the exercise every alternate year since 2007.
Commander of the Pakistani fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini, who was the chief guest on the occasion, inaugurated the exercise by hoisting the Pakistani flag at the Karachi dockyard.
The vice admiral, speaking at the ceremony, said that the exercise would help work against human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, and terrorism in the region, Radio Pakistan reported.
The Pakistan Navy has played a vital role for ensuring safe passage of cargo ships in the region, he added.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif extended a warm welcome to all participants and said Pakistan, being a major stakeholder in maritime security of the Arabian Sea, is fully committed to ensuring freedom of navigation and lawful maritime order.
The premier pointed out that maritime security challenges in the Indian Ocean are both multidimensional and multifaceted. Threats such as maritime terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy have acquired international dimensions, he said.
PM Nawaz Sharif emphasised that cooperation between international navies is imperative to countering emerging threats.