Maritime Power Play in the Indian Ocean and Challenges for Pakistan Navy
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While broadly highlighting developing maritime power tussles underway due to cooperation and competition between and/or among regional and extra-regional maritime stakeholders in the western quadrant of the Indian Ocean the research explores multifaceted internal and external challenges that Pakistan Navy is likely to face. Mainly, challenges that have emerged with the navy’s extended role and responsibilities in the aftermath of projects like Gwadar port development and maturing of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are of serious concern. For, successful completion and subsequent sustainability of these projects is highly dependent upon secured maritime zone. The internal challenges include sea blindness, budgeting constraints to infrastructural upgradation and expansion, infiltration issues that surfaced within navy and domestic security issues to the CPEC. Whereas likely external challenges are conventional threats due to technological gaps with the traditional rival i.e., Indian Navy, probability, and intensity of non-conventional hybrid maritime threats and above all growing nuclearization that could result in regional instability. To counter such a wide and diverse array of challenges frequent evaluation and assessment of war and peace time roles of Pakistan Navy is required by strategic policy makers.
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