Issue Brief on “Maritime Security in 21st Century: Strategic and Conventional Options for Pakistan”

Maritime security has become a vital issue in contemporary world politics. It is fundamental to national as well as human security: arms and drug trafficking, terrorist movement and threats in the maritime domain, illegal fishing and exploitation of sea resources and environment are some of the important challenges. In addition, states are also advancing their naval capabilities to protect their maritime interests and respond to conventional and non-conventional threats. Major powers are continuously advancing their naval capabilities to control the high seas.

In the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), there are 36 states in the littoral belt. There are also eleven neighbouring states, which though land-locked, are directly-indirectly dependent on this belt. The highest tonnage of the world’s trade, i.e., 65 per cent of the world oil, and 35 per cent of gas, situated in the littoral states, also pass through it. The geo-economic importance of IOR has fascinated the global and regional military and economic powers, especially USA, China, Japan and India.

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