Pakistan is hosting warships from 36 countries, including Russia, China and the US, in the Arabian Sea for a naval exercise beginning today.
Codenamed Aman-17, the five-day-long exercise will be held in the north Arabian Sea.
Russia has sent three ships for the exercise which, according to Pakistan Navy, is held every two years to raise awareness about naval affairs and improve coordination between different navies. Four ships from the US, and one each from Indonesia, Australia and Turkey will also participate.
Other participants of the exercise themed ‘Together for peace’ include China, Japan, Sri Lanka, the UK, and France.
Commander of the Pakistani Fleet, Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini said the exercise has helped navies to work together in eradicating terrorism, human, arms and drug trafficking.
He said Pakistani naval ships were also ensuring free sea trade in the Gulf of Aden.
“This region, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea, is very important as well as complex. It is from here that the world’s oil is transported,” he added.
Asked about India focusing on increasing its naval assets, Hussaini said the Aman-17 exercise was aimed at promoting inter-operability and not at preparing for war.