Pakistan’s sea limits set to be extended

Rage

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Pakistan’s sea limits set to be extended

By Jamal Shahid
Thursday, 07 May, 2009 | 03:47 AM PST |



It’s a historical conquest. The benefits will be limitless: Federal Minister for Science
and Technology, Azam Khan Swati.—APP/File



ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s continental shelf, or sea-water limits, will be extended from 200 to 350 nautical miles provided no nation objects within a week.

‘No country has challenged our claim for an additional 150 nautical miles into the sea,’ said the federal minister for Science and Technology, Azam Khan Swati, who had called a briefing on Wednesday evening to announce what he called an ‘historical conquest.’

After four years and surveys worth Rs.500 million, the United Nations accepted Pakistan’s claim for extension of the continental shelf. Pakistan would have legal control over another 50, 000 square-kilometres into the Arabian Sea.

Pakistan’s mission to the United Nations in New York had filed a claim for extension in its continental shelf from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles to the United Nations Commission on the Limit of Continental Shelf (UNCLOS) on April 30.

The ministry of science and technology (MoST) was involved in the preparation of the claim for the last couple of years.

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), an autonomous organisation of this ministry, was entrusted with the task to prepare the claim in accordance with UN requirements.

The case was prepared and submitted to the Pakistan mission in New York last month. Under the UNCLOS, Pakistan already has an Exclusive Economic Zone extending up to 200 nautical miles.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 and came into force in Nov 1994. Pakistan ratified the convention in Feb 1997.

The Convention entered into force for Pakistan on March 28, 1997. Although the government submitted its claim just two weeks before deadline, Science Minister Azam Khan Swati was all smiles when the announced the news.

‘It’s a historical conquest. The benefits will be limitless,’ he said. ‘We gain a substantial area of more than 50, 000 sq/km with another 150 nautical miles into the sea.’

Listing benefits, the minister claimed that the data acquired during the project would provide a reliable and firm database and foundation, essential for future marine research and exploration of living and non-living marine resources.

‘It will also provide a good basis for out scientists/technicians to further promote and develop the marine geological and geophysical research and survey capabilities. The project will contribute directly to the petroleum and mineral sector in general and to the offshore maritime industry/market,’ Azam Khan Swati said.

‘Elsewhere in the world, deepwater fan and deltaic systems are of great interest to oil exploration companies. After the survey we conducted, it is safe to say that Pakistan’s waters are rich in coal deposits and there is plenty of oil and gas,’ Azam Khan Swati said.

The minister said that as many as 29 countries have filed claim for extension and May 13, 2009 was last date for submission of claim. India has not filed claim for extension of its continental shelf so far, he added.

He said it was a historical moment that owing to timely efforts by the ministry and other stakeholders, Pakistan would succeed to extend its continental shelf.

The minister said that Pakistan has 200 nautical miles- an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which now would be 350 nautical miles.

He said that substantial area of more than 50,000 square kilometres would been gained after extension of the continental shelf.

Azam Swati said that this would contribute directly to the petroleum and mineral sector in general and offshore maritime industry in particular.

He said this would also provide a reliable and firm database and foundation for future marine research and exploration of living and non-living resources.

The minister said that by analogy, elsewhere in the world, deepwater fan and deltaic systems were of great interest to oil exploration companies.

Oil and gas developments in sediment-rich margins were clear indicators of potential for the Indus Fan, he said.

The UNCLOS was adopted in 1982 and came into force on Nov 16, 1994. Pakistan ratified the convention on Feb 26, 1997.


DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Pakistan?s sea limits set to be extended
 

Rage

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Time for another letter, methinks.
 

Pintu

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I think simply they are trying to capitalise on the situation and by promoting their 'farce' on so called 'War with Taliban' and having a short sighted US Administration in their favour they trying to rake up the issue of Sir Creek and trying setting of an invalid claim in Oil and Gas rich Gujrat coast area. They timed it up with our election.

Regards
 

S.A.T.A

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India has not filed claim for extension of its continental shelf so far, he added.
Why would that matter to the pakis,the fact that Indo-Pak maritime border in the north Arabian sea off the coast off Gujarat and Sindh are not demarcated owing to pending dispute,would by default make any such claim invalid until the maritime boundaries are demarcated to the satisfaction of each of the party.............

India will file the claim before the deadline expires,which i believe is may 13th.Its estimated that India's EEZ could be extended by nearly one million square kilometers,across its entire coastal belt.

No matter what convention comes into effect,the age old convention of the 'country with the biggest stick rules the waters' will always stay.
 

Yusuf

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Indias territorial waters are 350 kms from its coast. That in effect will put most of the Pakistani Coast under Indian influence.
Brace for a new conflict.
 

Singh

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Pakistan gains 50,000km marine area as UN extends continental shelf

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has got its continental shelf extended from 200 nautical miles to 350 nautical miles and would subsequently gain a maritime area of more than 50,000 kilometres, Science and Technology Minister Azam Khan Swati said on Wednesday.

He told a press conference that the extension in the continental shelf would benefit the country in marine data acquiring, which would provide a reliable database and foundation, essential for future marine research and exploration of marine resources. It will also provide a good basis for scientists and technicians to further promote and develop marine geological and geophysical research, he added. Swati said the extension would contribute directly to the petroleum and mineral sector and also to the offshore maritime industry. Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York had filed Islamabad’s claim for extension in its continental shelf to the UN Commission on the Limit of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) on April 30. The Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) had been tasked with preparing the claim in accordance with UN requirements. tahir niaz

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Pakistan has gained continental shelf the area of ~ 278km x 180km.
 

Daredevil

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Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York had filed Islamabad’s claim for extension in its continental shelf to the UN Commission on the Limit of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) on April 30. The Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) had been tasked with preparing the claim in accordance with UN requirements. tahir niaz
While the heading says UN has already granted the extension of continental shelf while the text says, that pakistan has applied for extension. Are Paks claiming extension even before it is awarded by UN?
 

Singh

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^^ they filed the application on 30th April and no one objected in the stipulated period of a week.
 

Daredevil

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^^ they filed the application on 30th April and no one objected in the stipulated period of a week.
Has UN awarded it officially?. Is there any stipulation that if no body objects within one week of application, it will awarded automatically?. We need to wait and watch. I don't think that India would let it go so easily.
 

johnee

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IIRC, India can also apply something similar before May 15, and most propabably India will do so.
 

Yusuf

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India already has a 350km EEZ from its own coast. That would mean most of Pakistani waters should be in our zone. Or is it that the Pakistani waters are excluded from this EEZ?
 

Singh

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Pakistan's submission in the attached PDF file.
Continental Shelf map in the attached image


The submission is yet to be ratified by the UN

On 30 April 2009, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, in accordance with Article 76, paragraph 8, of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, information on the limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

It is noted that the Convention entered into force for Pakistan on 28 March 1997.

In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, a communication is being circulated to all Member States of the United Nations, as well as States Parties to the Convention, in order to make public the executive summary of the submission, including all charts and coordinates contained in that summary.

The consideration of the submission made by Pakistan will be included in the provisional agenda of the twenty-fourth session of the Commission to be held in New York from 10 August to 11 September 2009.

Upon completion of the consideration of the submission, the Commission will make recommendations pursuant to Article 76 of the Convention.
World Map with India's EEZ highlighted
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Indian_Exclusive_Economic_Zones.PNG


I don't think India can object, nor is there any point.

OTOH Rann of Katch's coast's continental shelf has been eaten up by Pak :s
 

johnee

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I am posting a two year old article, which may be relavent:


Pakistan, India hold talks on Sir Creek

some excerpts:

By DPA, [RxPG] Islamabad, May 17, 2007 - Officials from Pakistan and India Thursday began two-day talks to help resolve the long-standing dispute over the Sir Creek marshland that separates the countries at the Arabian Sea.
The two sides in January began a joint survey of the creek, demarcation of which would enable them to finalise their maritime boundaries.
Determination of the boundaries would in turn allow them to notify the limits of their maritime economic zones as demanded by the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, to which both Pakistan and India are signatories.
The convention requires that all maritime boundary conflicts should be resolved by 2009, failing which the United Nations may declare disputed areas as international waters.
 

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