ISLAMABAD: Chief of The Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi visited Iran to attend 6th Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Conclave of Chiefs (CoC) 2018 held in Tehran, from 22-25 Apr 18. The event involved panel discussions on issues related to maritime security of Indian Ocean and a meeting between Chiefs of Navy of IONS members and observer nations. During panel discussion, Vice Admiral (Retd) Iftikhar Ahmed read a paper on ‘Maritime Trade Vision of Indian Ocean’.

During IONS and CoC, bilateral meetings between CNS and dignitaries from Iran including Commander of Army, Major General Sayyed Abdolrahim Moosavi and foreign Naval Chiefs were also held to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi also briefed the participants on ‘Maritime Perspective of Pakistan’ with special focus on PN contributions to regional maritime security and opportunities offered by CPEC to the region. During the brief he also highlighted the challenges to Indian Ocean security and emphasized on collaboration between the regional navies to enhance maritime security of the region. He also stressed upon greater collaboration between Indian Ocean countries to exploit potentials of blue economy.

Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is an initiative to formalise a regional maritime collaborative forum. Pakistan formally became member of IONS in Conclave of Chief attended by CNS held in Australia in Mar 14. Presently there are 23 member nations and 9 observer nations.

PN proactively participates in IONS as it provides a platform to the participating nations to work together for the good of global common. Participation of the Naval Chief in the IONS CoC-18 reflects Pakistan’s commitment for regional peace and is a manifestation of PN contribution towards regional maritime security through a collaborative approach.