- Pakistan Navy recently concluded the seventh iteration of its flagship multilateral exercise “AMAN”.
- Countries in Asia (including West Asia/Iran/Gulf) comprised the largest share of AMAN-2021 participants region-wise, followed by Europe.
- The AMAN series of multilateral exercises are “significant in fostering regional cooperation for maintaining good order at sea, improving interoperability and exhibiting a common resolve against crimes and illicit activities in the maritime domain.”
- The most-cited example of AMAN-2021’s success was the common platform available for the US, NATO, Russia, Iran and China to huddle together under a neutral banner for engagements in a purely apolitical environment. A prominent takeaway was the International Fleet Review that culminated in the North Arabian Sea.
- AMAN-2021 provided a platform to promote a better understanding between Pakistani and US naval officers.
- The exercise received limited mainstream media projection outside Pakistan, despite the fanfare that it provided a platform for the Russian Navy and NATO member states to hold maritime manoeuvres together after almost a decade
- Limited Southeast Asian participation suggests Islamabad’s casual approach in executing economic diplomacy with Southeast Asia.
- Despite its success, certain aspects of AMAN-2021 merit a high-level review by the authorities concerned, including improving public relations operations, regulating foreign media activities, and juxtaposing AMAN with RMSP. Also, there is a need to strengthen relations with the and IOR Island States and to fortify the lobbying for IORA membership.
- AMAN exercises remain the largest of their kind in the Western Indian Ocean, and in lieu of its geostrategic significance among extra-regional actors, bear extensive symbolic value.