Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

KARACHI: Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz said on Saturday that Pakistan would go all out to counter growing threats to peace in the Indian Ocean, chiefly from its ‘nuclearisation’ started by India.

Speaking at a conference, he listed the challenges to peace in the ocean as its militarisation, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, increased missile capabilities and power projection by foreign militaries, in addition to piracy, illegal fishing, human, drugs and arms smuggling, maritime pollution and climate change.

“This trend is likely to intensify in the coming years,” he warned at the ‘International maritime conference on strategic outlook in Indian Ocean region, 2030 and beyond — evolving challenges and strategies’.

Says un-demarcated Sir Creek borders cast a shadow on maritime security

“We are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime security challenges. For us, to remain oblivious of the developments taking place in the Indian Ocean region is not an option.”

Pakistan last month successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable submarine-launched cruise missile, Babur-III. The move towards a sea-based deterrent, military strategists say, was necessitated by India’s ‘unrestrained behaviour’. India had last year tested the nuclear-capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile from its nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant.

Mr Aziz said nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean had further destabilised the region.

He said it was in Pakistan’s ves­ted interest that the region remai­ned peaceful because 95 per cent of its trade took place through sea and it had a coastline over 1,000km long, an Exclusive Economic Zone of around 300,000 square kilometres, the Karachi port and the newly built deep sea port of Gwadar.

“The un-demarcated borders in the Sir Creek have the potential to cast a shadow on maritime security,” he said.

“We have to maintain significant naval presence to keep our sea lanes open and defend our interests whether on land or on the sea.”

He said the Indian navy’s substantial expansion was a cause for concern for Pakistan. “Pakistan has a strategic stake in the peaceful navigation and security of the Indian Ocean region.”

He said: “We realise the economic potential of the region. As the third-largest ocean providing coastline to more than 30 countries, the Indian Ocean provides connectivity not only to important regions in Asia, particularly South Asia and the Middle East, and Africa, it also connects Australia with Europe. Regular dialogue between stakeholders on security and safety has never been so important.”

He recalled that an estimated 55pc of oil reserves of the world and 40pc of gas were located in the region. “Today some 40pc of the global trade passes through the Indian Ocean. With the rise of Asia as the global powerhouse, the region indeed offers the unique platform for today’s globalised world as an attractive trade route. At present ports in the Indian Ocean handle about 30pc global trade and half the world’s container traffic. But the establishment of a new system of routes and ports will further increase the economic importance of this ocean,” he said.

Earlier, in his keynote address at the three-day seventh international maritime conference at the Bahria University, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would cast its shadow in the strategic and commercial balance in the region. “If the dispute is not settled peacefully according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, it would remain a trigger for volatility in the region along with being a potent driver of conflict. The bilateral talks despite the sincere and persistent efforts of Pakistan have proved to be unproductive because of India’s intransigence,” he said.

He said the Indian Ocean region was not all about war. “It is a catalyst for peace and prosperity, cooperation, collaboration, connectivity and stability and security.”

He suggested that Pakistan, taking advantage of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), should begin working on two supplementary corridors. “There should be a corridor connecting Pakistan to West Asia and Africa. The West Asian corridor could go by Iran to Central Asia and Moscow and via Iran and Turkey to Europe. And a second corridor would pass through or around the Gulf region and penetrate into Africa,” he said, pointing out that Africa in particular was an upcoming continent with lots of potential.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah highlighted the significant role being played by the Pakistan Navy in sustenance of peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region. He said operationalisation of the CPEC and the Gwadar Port would lead to an exponential increase in maritime activities off the country’s coast. “Consequently, responsibilities of Pakistan Navy for maintaining a secure maritime environment will also increase manifold. Recent establishment of the Task Force-88 is also a step forward in this regard,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2017

Comments (96) Closed

Arun Feb 12, 2017 07:38am

Can't blame countries in this age of race to establish military dominance.

Mehak Gulab Feb 12, 2017 07:47am

Does Sartaj Aziz alarmed over the superficial actions taken against terror outfits in Punjab and other pressing needs (to establishing rule of law) as well?

Geography-basic Feb 12, 2017 07:55am

Pakistan and its port are in Arabian Sea and far away from Indian Ocean! His two corridors are also no way connected with Indian Ocean...

3D PerspEctive Feb 12, 2017 07:58am

UN Convention on the law of the sea had well defined the territorial rights of nations ,and Sartaj Aziz well aware of this.Pakistan can derive full benefits upto it's rights, and that can be done with making announcements, or advertisements.

Sac Feb 12, 2017 08:00am

India has many more boundaries Mr.Aziz. There is no word when China tests.

Puthomadre, karachi Feb 12, 2017 08:07am

Let India worry about Indian ocean, while Pakistan can worry Pakistan ocean.

Diplomacy works Feb 12, 2017 08:43am

Try to speak sometime different or speak about the data and fact which can show that you are serious against terrorist groups. These statements on nuclear arms comes every week in Pakistan media and no one even read it.

Saudagaar Feb 12, 2017 08:42am

So Technically what Mr.Aziz said is similar to what Mr.Bhutto once said. "We will build nuclear bombs no matter if my country has to eat grass for next 100 years".You are welcome to arms race trying to catch up India with a fraction of economy.

Gunjan Feb 12, 2017 08:51am

Your country just crossed a 18 trillion rupee threshold of debt. Good luck with your desire to fight - it would only lead to worsening of your economy. CPEC is already a debt millstone on your neck for which the repayment have not yet started but will soon. Your anger and desire for equalling India is coming at a very expensive price. We dont feel bad about it. We encourage you to continue on the same path

lafanga Feb 12, 2017 09:15am

I wish all will be normal in Asiatic ocean.

Bilal Feb 12, 2017 09:36am

India seem to have an upper hand because of its huge navy.

QalanDar Feb 12, 2017 09:40am

If Pakistan wants to build nuclear weapons than it should go ahead and do it. No point in making this larger than life excuses to start manufacturing nukes.

Alba Feb 12, 2017 10:15am

That you Mister Defense Minister. Do your best to remain relevant.

khanm Feb 12, 2017 10:23am

“We are aware of our national interests and every effort will be made to strengthen our capacity to ensure that we remain ready to meet the emerging maritime security challenges. with due respect, if you would have taken national interest first than your personnel interests, pal India won't go that far...Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help...Sir don't speak just do it with confidence.. Confidence is what we get when we take fear, face it and replace it.

Anwar Mahmood Feb 12, 2017 10:22am

Let us pray and hope that there will be never ever-- far beyond for ever no nuclear war between any nations in any area or any space, land or ocean.

We must all love all humanity and protect it from nuclear annihilation of any of our human kind.

vasudevan Feb 12, 2017 10:34am

India is not the only country in nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean. Is Pakistan also concerned equally about the Chinese and American nuclear submarines of the ocean?

KRIS Feb 12, 2017 10:47am

The more corridors you build, the more stuff that gets dumped into your country. You don't build corridors without increasing competitiveness of local industries. Otherwise goods will only flow one way and money will flow the other way.

RAja hindustani Feb 12, 2017 10:49am

So nuclearisation of indian ocean only happening due to India's nuclear missile test. Similar Pakistan missile test are not alarming

Saleem Feb 12, 2017 11:05am

I worry for my generations to come that they would be living in a nuclear region consisting of Pakistan, India, China, Iran. Pakistan seems to be doing well on catch up job on development of nuclear technology and vehicles to deliver it. India needs scale down on it aggressive spread of arms and ammunition policies as they are endangering 3 billion residents of the region

Dr. SalariA, Aamir Ahmad Feb 12, 2017 11:15am

He is 100 percent right.

Nitin Feb 12, 2017 11:18am

AJK president talking about indian ocean, interesting.

Chanakya Feb 12, 2017 11:33am

No time, India is busy in becoming top manufacturing hub.

Ikram masood Feb 12, 2017 11:51am

Militirisation of Gwadar by China has spooked GCC countries earlier. If Pakistan failed to hear their concerns...who will hear Pakistan now?

NIRAJ CHAWHAN Feb 12, 2017 12:12pm

First nuclear city, now nuclear ocean, next is what.? nuclear sky.?

Devendra G. Feb 12, 2017 12:13pm

Pakistan must be aware that India took a big step towards an operational two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) system by testing a high-altitude interceptor missile to destroy an incoming ballistic missile over the Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning.

The “exo-atmospheric” (outside the earth’s atmosphere) interceptor missile, also called the PDV (Prithvi defence vehicle), directly hit the target missile at an altitude of 97km.

anees Feb 12, 2017 12:25pm

What about nuclear expansion by China?? Why no word on that... India does not compare itself with Pakistan (comparison can be done among equals). It compares with China. Be realistic.

A Feb 12, 2017 12:28pm

Sir Why not develop friendship instead of spending on defending borders drawn in 1947 ... In addition to missiles and submarines India has also embarked on visit to Venus and revisit to Mars ..further if all goes according to plan, on the morning of February 15, Isro will hurl into space using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) three Indian satellites and a 101 small foreign satellites. No other country has ever tried to hit a century in a single mission. The last world record is held by Russia which in 2014 rocketed 37 satellites in a single launch using a modified inter-continental ballistic missile. ( Times of India )

Why not your scientist join us instead of we fighting wars ?

gulshan Feb 12, 2017 12:28pm

Babur missile is chinese reverse engineering on tomahawks lost in cruise strike and collected by Taliban in balochistan, finally handed over by Pak to China as a matter of stealth mil hardware exchanges . Chinese have bolestered Pakistan against India , North Korea against Japan and US, Now this entire tangle is Chinese make and needs Indian solution.

harris Feb 12, 2017 12:42pm

Good move... let's highlight our concern in the least..

SAM Feb 12, 2017 12:44pm

No worries Pakistan's nuclear and missile program far more advance then India, even the western media has certified this fact.

NOMANSLAND Feb 12, 2017 12:45pm

@Geography-basic Arabian sea is a part of the Indian ocean....

SAM Feb 12, 2017 12:51pm

"Pakistan must be aware that India took a big step towards an operational two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) system by testing a high-altitude interceptor missile to destroy an incoming ballistic missile over the Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning". BUT this test if it was "Real" was conducted on a "Stationary Target" not on a target with traveling with "supersonic speed" with "multiple war heads" attached to it.

SID Feb 12, 2017 12:59pm

@lafanga What is Asiatic ocean ? Do you mean South China Sea ??

Mangocaptain Feb 12, 2017 01:02pm

@SAM Stationary target? do yo even know what a BMD is? they hit a moving target

Sensible neighbor Feb 12, 2017 01:06pm

@SAM Well the test was done by hitting a ballistic missile.

Bored Feb 12, 2017 01:07pm

@lafanga U created an imaginary Asiatic ocean - bro, get into Movies man!

vectra Feb 12, 2017 01:20pm

@SAM " BUT this test if it was "Real" was conducted on a "Stationary Target" not on a target with traveling with "supersonic speed" with "multiple war heads" attached to it."

What you think it was not REAL,you thing it was on Stationary Target but not on moving target??

If that is the case then it would have been called simple ballistic missile not ballistic Missile Defence.You are mixing both.

Jaydeep Feb 12, 2017 01:24pm

@SAM Really We just launched over a hundred satellites in one go , and if your program is so advanced why do your leaders keep complaining .

®POT_BELLY DANCER Ω Feb 12, 2017 01:30pm

Hmmm time to act for Pakistan

INDIAn Feb 12, 2017 01:41pm

@SAM are you for real?? The target was launched from a ship. The projectile had a range of 2000km. The video might come out. The same way we gave the video of AAD.

Sohan Feb 12, 2017 01:45pm

@gulshan Very good observation.

The end is near Feb 12, 2017 01:51pm

First pay attention to the worst and catastrophic condition of government hospitals in Pakistan. Instead of metros and trains in cities Pakistani awam needs hospitals and lots of them, especially children hospitals have very little than no equipment at all. Even the very basic healthcare facilities are out of the reach of poor Pakistani people. These healthcare issues are bigger threat for poor people of Pakistan than so called nuclearisation of Indian ocean.

Zakir hussain Feb 12, 2017 01:57pm

@SID that person @lafanga seriously needs a geography lesson

Zain zulfiqar Feb 12, 2017 01:59pm

The whole of Asia has already been nuclearisd long ago. Now don't beat the drums.

VINEETH Feb 12, 2017 01:57pm

@lafanga 'Asiatic ocean' - That was quite a funny name..

Ahmed Feb 12, 2017 02:02pm

This is nothing but a ploy by China to contain India. Why do you think China supports Pakistan?

VINEETH Feb 12, 2017 02:11pm

@SAM The target was another two stage missile launched from ship in Bay or Bengal. What was tested this time was the ability of the system to detect the incoming missile autonomously and launch the interceptor to engage it and deploy the IR seeker. Many more milestones are yet to come until the system is mature and fully functional.

Zealot Feb 12, 2017 02:18pm

We made Tactical nukes,But enemy is not complaining.

Anti ballistic missle system are for defensive purpose so how it would create nuclearisation?




while sushma swaraj is Saving indians in US,Malaysia,Saudia arabia,Tanzania and Bashed Amazon to keep dignity of her country.LEARN FROM ENEMY ATLEAST


So sick of these people!!!!

J20 Feb 12, 2017 02:22pm

Don't worry.. nobody has interest to use nuclear arsenal... if it is then its like a virus will spread in whole world... Just concentrate on people development. India will loose lot if they start war.. Pakistan has nothing to loose

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Feb 12, 2017 02:27pm

This is the reality of my people, don't have food to eat and du waqt roti and now pointing out flaws in each other. Good job India, good job Pakistan. Lets eat hatf and agnis when my people get hungry in India/Pakistan. Sad and shameful. That we forgetting to love each other we are the same people, no one can take that away from us. We are one family together and broken if we don't have each other.

AW Feb 12, 2017 03:01pm

Sartaj Aziz needs to retire or the PM should send him to retirement. Nuclearisation of the ocean is least of our worries. Dear Sir, our priorities are clean drinking water, security of the lives and property of citizens, education, basic health, jobs, national economic development, freedom of expression etc. Also dear sir, please understand that we can not be a strong nation with a weak economy. Strong defense also needs money which come with strong economy. Let us focus on formulation of policies to encourage investment and develop our economy first.

Sameer Feb 12, 2017 03:01pm

Together Pakistan and China can counter any threat in the Arabian Sea and the larger Indian ocean region. Maritime security is essential for boosting trade and commerce on these sea routes. With cooperation and assistance from China we can overcome any challenge that our enemies may have in their minds with respect to our territorial waters. Gone are the days for dreaming a blockade of Pakistan's coastline by the day dreamers in our neighborhood.

Jaydeep Feb 12, 2017 03:04pm

@IMTIAZ ALI KHAN You are absolutely right , We need to learn something from the EU, We both need to start talking and mutually agree to stop spending so much money on weaponry , Both India and Pakistan need to spend money on their citizens , How i wish our governments thought just like you.

Dev Feb 12, 2017 03:06pm

@Geography-basic Arabian Sea and bay of Bengal are part of Indian ocean

m.asif Feb 12, 2017 03:32pm

@Mehak Gulab, shahbaz sharif negogiated the deal with terroist outfits to spare punjab in exchange of something something. No point to be alarmed.

Raj Feb 12, 2017 03:36pm

@Saleem If india has to scale down, then your friend China has to scale down sir. WIthout this, nothing can happen. BUt dont lecture india that, in the face of Chinese hegemony india should not protect itself. That is a foolish advice. IF you want to spend like india, then spend.

ashok Feb 12, 2017 03:56pm

@lafanga -I wish all will be normal in Asiatic ocean.

Yup we have no probs if you do anything in Asiatic Ocean. We will have a strong presence in Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea though.

Jamil Feb 12, 2017 04:16pm

@QalanDar What are you talking about! Pakistan is already a nuclear power with a reliable delivery system and is therefore proving an effective deterrent against any potential misadventure on the part of India.

Jamil Feb 12, 2017 04:23pm

@KRIS Pakistan is well aware of the pros and cons of building trade corridors and will take full advantage of the benefit it offers. So there is no need of alarm on your part.

Jamil Feb 12, 2017 04:25pm

@Nitin What's so odd about it!

Jamil Feb 12, 2017 04:30pm

@Mangocaptain But what about a modern ballistic missile capable of evading interception missiles.

kaliraja thangamani Feb 12, 2017 04:40pm

@The end is near The same conditions prevail in India also.Minimum nuclear deterrent is enpugh. Government of India must work for betterment of hospitals which are used by poor and downtrodden people instead of spending huge money on Nuclear weapons. I myself come across many incidents where poor people are not able to get proper treatments. Due to that lot of people lost their life. So Indian goevernment must think about its priorities on defence expenditure.Todays scenerios is very bad in India according to my understanding.

Punjabi indIan Feb 12, 2017 04:56pm

@SAM Brother Sam , pls give some credit to the scientists who designed and tested the BMD was of course tested on a mimic missile at super sonic speed at an altitude of 97 km. It was exo-atmosphere ( outside the earths atmosphere) The BMD system is designed to track and destroy incoming enemy missile .only four countries in the world have done this test successfully .

akram Feb 12, 2017 04:54pm

very interesting idea about a west asia corridor.

akram Feb 12, 2017 05:01pm

@Gunjan why dont you worry about your own country and leave us Pakistanis to worry about others?

Don't worry CPEC is already accelerating Pakistan's GDP, and what is more this is just the start of a beautiful relationship for Pakistan. Ask any economist and they will tell you this is going to be a Chinese century, good for China's allies, bad for it's enemies.

Don't lose sleep over that.

Jamil Feb 12, 2017 05:03pm

@gulshan So you do acknowledge that babur cruise missile is as good as the tomahawk cruise missile!

akram Feb 12, 2017 05:05pm

@Devendra G.

the tests are fixed and useless, even the US has not made these technologies work. what is india going to do with a mere fraction of the US budget?

In effect you are trying to hit a bullet with another bullet. What is more it has to be a direct hit, not a glancing blow.

It is relatively easy to develop counter measures on such missiles to fool these defensive technologies, so they exist only in your dreams.

Rabbani.h Feb 12, 2017 05:05pm

@Jamil ok then let Pakistan build ballistic missile capable of interception missiles while India concentrate its efforts on the latter

vectra Feb 12, 2017 05:25pm

@akram "the tests are fixed and useless, even the US has not made these technologies work. what is india going to do with a mere fraction of the US budget?" cant say who does and who does not but India did it whether any like it or not.

It is relatively easy to develop counter measures on such missiles to fool these defensive technologies, so they exist only in your dreams. Is it?? Is it really that simple??

Azhar awan Feb 12, 2017 05:34pm

I understand this intellectual debate, please rest assure it is a recipe of failure, and loss. Pakistan academics and policy makers failed at every level over past 39 years. It is Bhuttoism. Then, Mianism. We produced poor quality engineers, scientists and beaureates. Beaureates are only limited to a a few families. All these ills led Pakistan failure. Our enemies are too many and friends are a few. Let's focus Aziz sahib and General sahib on education. Try to make peace with India. Let's do not buy big guns, if you do, look 1965 and 71, your suppliers refused to help you.

Azhar awan Feb 12, 2017 05:42pm

How stupid we are, all of us waiting our useful time. Anyone care about our comments. Let's work together, Indian are our brothers, and let's stand up for peace. We should never through a stone on each other, we have more common virtues.

A Feb 12, 2017 05:43pm

@Azhar awan " Try to make peace with India. Let's do not buy big guns, if you do,

Applies to both the countries......we should concentrate more on education and job opportunities ....

vectra Feb 12, 2017 06:08pm

@Azhar awan That what Indians are also saying that Peace is the most important need of the hour but some retards think otherwise. Whatever India is developing is by keeping China in mind,if China's huge spending is curtailed then India too will back down.Pakistan is best friend of China so it can use its influence to persuade China to spend less and like that.

saudagar Feb 12, 2017 06:12pm

most comments suggest less reading of what mr aziz is saying ;its good for india and pakistan who are dependent on oil from ocean route to keep it peaceful , trade also same route hence keep geopolitics off indian ocean thats what is sanity !

Falcon Feb 12, 2017 08:11pm

@SAM Read it again.

Indian Feb 12, 2017 08:38pm

@Azhar awan I appreciate your comment.

DOOK Feb 12, 2017 08:46pm

All this talk if corridors keeps ignoring the customs inspection which will occur every time a border is crossed. This is one of the many reasons the modern silk route concept will not work.

Vijay B. Feb 12, 2017 10:38pm

Pakistan should invite India to build an East-West corridor in Pakistan from the Wagh border to the Khyber Pass, This would come out to be at a fraction of the Cost/Km. of CPEC with a financing rate of 6% and a 10% expected rate of return on investments. Moreover the project would be built using mostly Pakistani labor; unlike between the Chinese and your/our people, we do not have a language barrier separating our people, making it a lot easier for our people to work with each other. The ball is in your court now Pakistan. You want to start afresh, here is your chance to initiate something bold and unprecedented.

Rex Minor Feb 13, 2017 01:07am

One would reckon that he is advising the Sharifs on foreign policies and not on nuclear subjects. It is a bit late for him to learn and comment on nuclear matters.

Rex Minor

Pranav Feb 13, 2017 01:20am

@lafanga There is only one ocean named after a country and the one we are talking about here is the "INDIAN OCEAN".

alla bux Feb 13, 2017 01:33am

Indian ocean is too far away from us. Let the big boys (US, China and India) worry about it.

ibmx Feb 13, 2017 01:50am

Looks like Trump-speak is contagious , the bigger the lies the more response one will get but never the expected result ! Only proof of the stupidity of the strategy.

alla bux Feb 13, 2017 02:14am

@A Not really. We say India is our ONLY enemy and so if we make peace with India there is no need to buy any more armaments. But India has other enemies, the main one being CHINA. Unless China gives up its illegal claims over Indian territory, India has to wary of China.

JIm beam Feb 13, 2017 04:00am

@lafanga Sorry. It will remain Indian Ocean for the foreseeable future. When we end up destroying ourselves, a more intelligent life form can rename it.

Jaywa Feb 13, 2017 05:54am

Nothing to say about China's nuclear sub in Indian ocean. Hypocrisy at its best.

Azmeen Feb 13, 2017 05:55am

For Pak best strategy may be to continue working for peace but to prepare for the worst as India's aggression against Pak once again cannot be ruled out.

Akil Akhtar Feb 13, 2017 06:56am

@Geography-basic Pakistan's port of Karachi is in Indian ocean....

Akil Akhtar Feb 13, 2017 06:55am

Its a self defeating race started by india....they build we build more so they build more and it goes on.......

Anir Feb 13, 2017 07:54am

@Azhar awan I wish more people in Pakistan comes out like you and give their opinion. Millions in India will join you.

rackyr Feb 13, 2017 07:59am

Indian ocean and pakistan no relevance or proximity this shows pakistani concern on global issues slowly pakistan is turning into global power but it finds itself cornered when asked to deplore tensions of south china sea

Someone Feb 13, 2017 08:09am

Pakistani oil does not come through Indian Ocean.

ABD Feb 13, 2017 09:18am

Is pakistan even part of Indian Ocean. Then why it feels threatened ??? Or we are rasing Iron brother's concerns, that should be none of our business.

alok Feb 13, 2017 09:22am

@lafanga :Asiatic ocean ...where is mars? Please help?

Senthil Feb 13, 2017 09:26am

India is worried about the nuclear proliferation through CPEC. The world knows about this, hence no one condemns Indian missile tests or nuclear expansion.

Desi Dimag Feb 13, 2017 10:03am

He doesn't sound good.

bharat Feb 14, 2017 04:57pm


Nice insight Imti. The sad fact is you are a common man