Announcements :
• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
• The Institute has announced BS, M. Phil, and PhD admissions (Fall-2023)
National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarUmm-e-Habiba
Title of Dissertation Changing Contours of Sea Power in the Globalized Indian Ocean: Analysis of India, Pakistan Naval Dispositions and Challenges for Pakistan Navy
Issue Date2022
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Abstract Rapidly increasing trade, economic and strategic potential of the Indian Ocean sea lanes of communications have forced regional and extra-regional states to vie for unhindered access to the region through naval power projection. Enhancing sea power/naval potential is thus perceived inevitable part of such states’ strategic maritime discourse. For, saber-rattling in the maritime domain exercised “at sea” and/or “from the sea” can secure their respective maritime interests. Traditional/interstate challenges and threats coupled with non-traditional threats have added a wholly different dynamic into maritime geopolitics. The rising India-Pakistan maritime rivalry in the Western Indian Ocean is but one part of a broader strategic scenario that constitutes security challenges and competition in the Indian Ocean maritime domain. Certain factors tend to give their mutual maritime rivalry a sharper dynamic. At various levels, competition and contesting tendencies of major naval powers but extra-regional players viz. the US and China coincide with those regional contestants i.e., the Indian Navy and Pakistan Navy, respectively. This on one hand, has increased pressure upon both navies to align themselves with one side or another to maximize their gains within an increasingly unstable and complex maritime security milieu. And, on the other hand, it has stimulated both rival neighbors’ quest for robust sea power capabilities. In that vein, maritime force capabilities, configuration, and potential of both regional rival forces i.e., Indian Navy and Pakistan Navy have undergone an upward shift. Evidently, advance naval dispositions in the Indian Navy’s and Pakistan Navy’s development trajectories are growing. The study unfolds that theoretically both navies can be mapped as tilted more towards the modern end of naval development spectrum. Besides determining the future Balance of Power in the Indian Ocean, these naval/sea power dispositions are likely to increase volatility of their maritime region. Hence, undermine the regional stability and security. For, the competition is likely to increase security dilemma between the two arch-rivals. The Western Indian Ocean stage scene is thus undoubtedly set for an increasingly dangerous spiral of moves and countermoves that somewhat displays similarities to the strategic competition the region underwent in the Cold War period. Nevertheless, the contemporary maritime theater is deemed more challenged and volatile than the past. The study further explores various internal and external challenges Pakistan Navy is likely to face; in the wake of increased maritime power play.