Day-to-Days Operations A Challenge For Pakistan's Underfunded Navy

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:43 AM, November 4, 2015
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Day-to-Days Operations A Challenge For Pakistan's Underfunded Navy
Pakistan's Naval ships PNS-Shahjahan-Tippi-Sultan at sea

Pakistan is funding its navy with only about 10 per cent of the total defence budget, making even the day-to-day operations such as  maintenance and repairs a challenge.

On  the other hand, its neighbouring country India is acquiring warships, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines to build up its naval fleet, it emerged during a media briefing about the maritime exercise Seaspark 2015, Dawn reported today. The exercise began in north Arabian Sea on Tuesday after a gap of three years.

“India has strong sea strength,” Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Plans) Commodore Raja Rab Nawaz said. He also provided information about the number of warships acquired by both countries and the navy’s role in the scenario, which may be described as strategically defensive, although tactically offensive.

“Our strength as compared to India’s naval strength may be different when compared with various aspects. The ratios come out as something like one-third, one-sixth or one-tenth.” Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat said. The conventional gaps show how behind we are in building our sea strength while India has realised the sea’s importance, Shaukat added.

However, in order to shorten these gaps, the Pakistan Navy, like the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force, has a development plan. “We also ask the government for extra funding as per our requirements, which does come through. For instance, we approach them case to case for things such as fleet tankers, missile boats and submarines.” Shaukat added.

Getting aircraft carriers is not a part of Pakistan’s development plan because apart from being an asset it can also be a target, he said. Moreover, the nation cannot afford to use its entire navy to protect the aircraft carriers.

Rear Admiral Shaukat admitted that India’s aircraft carriers, although primarily there to project power, posed a threat. “We’ll see how we can neutralise this threat,” he said.

However, the navy is protecting the disputed Sir Creek area and other sensitive points, he said. “Our marines are deployed in our creek areas.”Shaukat added.

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