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Military can't afford to be complacent: Pak Navy chief

Pakistan's military cannot afford to be complacent and must maintain a high state of operational preparedness because of the regional security environment, navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir said today.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2009 20:29 IST

Pakistan's military cannot afford to be complacent and must maintain a high state of operational preparedness because of the regional security environment, navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir said on Friday.

"The current security environment in the region has posed new challenges for the Pakistan navy," Bashir said addressing an officers' commissioning parade at the Pakistan Naval Academy.

"Notwithstanding Pakistan government's unprecedented peace initiative with India, coupled with confidence building measures, we cannot afford to be complacent and must maintain a high state of operational preparedness as only maintenance of a credible deterrence guarantees peace," he said.

The Pakistan navy's "peace time role of maritime policing, benign operations and diplomatic undertakings have increased manifold," he said.

"This warrants not only an effective and reasonably modern navy but also maintenance of the right balance between quality and quantity," he added.

Despite limited resources, the government is eager to modernise the Pakistan Navy by adopting a two pronged approach that combines acquisition from abroad with transfer of technology and indigenous construction.

"We have made considerable progress in achieving self reliance in the construction of ships, submarines and several other platforms indigenously. Construction of F-22P frigates in collaboration with China would further enhance our shipbuilding capability and strengthen the offensive punch of the Pakistan Navy," Bashir said.

The Gwadar deep sea port and coastal highway will provide impetus to economic activities. At the same time, the Pakistan Navy will have to play a key role in maintaining an environment conducive to maritime security, he added.