Maritime Security Agency

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (reporting name: PMSA) is a uniform service branch within the Pakistan Navy.[4] It is the Navy-managed and Navy-controlled law enforcement agency whose mission is to provide protection to the Pakistan's maritime interests and enforcement of maritime law with jurisdiction over the domestic and international waters of Pakistan including the exclusive economic zone.[4]

  • For the other organisation previously known as the Maritime Security Agency see: Pakistan Coast Guard
Pakistan Maritime Security Agency
Emblem of the Pakistan Navy
Active (1987-01-01) January 1, 1987[1]
Country Pakistan
Branch Pakistan Navy
TypeCoast guard
RoleDefense operations, maritime law enforcement, and search and rescue
Size2,500 active duty personnel[2]
22 vessels[3]
3 aircraft[3]
Part ofMinistry of Defense
HeadquartersKarachi Port Trust Building, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Motto(s)"To assert and enforce national jurisdiction and sovereignty in all Maritime zones and to protect Pakistan's Maritime interests."
ColorsBlue, Red and White
Anniversaries1 January
WebsiteOfficial website
Chief of Naval staffAdm. Z. Mahmood Abbasi
Director-GeneralR-Adm. Zaka-ur-Rehman
Admiral Asif Sandila
R-Adm Tahseenullah Khan
Aircraft flown
HelicopterAérospatiale Alouette III
PatrolBritten-Norman Defender

Created on 1 January 1987 in compliance to the UN Convention on Law of the Sea of 1982, the PMSA functions as a federal regulatory agency under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) whose command level leadership and personnel comes directly from the Pakistan Navy.:conts.[5][6] Apart from enforcing maritime law, the PMSA conduct to assists in military operations against human trafficking, smuggling, and deep sea search and rescue.:112[7][8][9]

The leadership of the agency comes from the external billets appointment approved by the Pakistan Navy and its executive officer is designated as the Director-General who usually at the two-star rank admiral– the Rear-Admiral in the Navy.[10] The current director of the agency is Rear-Admiral Zaka-ur-Rehman who took the directorship of the agency in 2018.[11][9]

Since 2014, the mission objectives and area of responsibility of the PMSA expanded substantially with Chinese Navy transferring the coast guard vessels to provide maritime protection to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.[12]


The mission of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency states:

To assert and enforce national jurisdiction and sovereignty in the maritime zones in order to regulate and protect maritime interests of Pakistan

Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, [13]


In 1971, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) had established the Pakistan Coast Guard but the Coast Guards were under the command of the Pakistan Army and were unable to perform the deep sea search and rescue operations or enforce maritime law to protect Pakistan's maritime interests.:130–131[7] The void had been filled by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard that had been very active in the Indian Ocean.:131[7] The Navy had to perform the coast guard duties apart from the combat service and had to deploy its assets to guard the maritime interests of the country.:131[7]

After the United Nation's Convention on the Law of the Sea was signed in 1982, the Government of Pakistan established the Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) after acquiring the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 240,000 square miles (620,000 km2).:131[7] The MoD established the Maritime Affairs Wing in 1986 to lay the framework of the agency as the Pakistan Navy undertook the task by establishing the agency from its manpower and provided the leadership with Rear-Admiral S.R. Hussain becoming its first Director-General on 1 August 1986.[15]

On 1 January 1987, the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) was established for law enforcement and protecting the maritime interests of the country, and a parliamentary act that was passed in 1994 to provide the legal jurisdiction to the agency to perform its operations and task.[1] In 1997, the MSA gained its constitutional mandate after ratification of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.[1]

The Maritime Security Agency conducts exercises with the other coast guards of the world. In May 2005, the PMSA agreed to establish liaison links with the Indian Coast Guard.

In 2014, the mission objectives and area of responsibility of the PMSA expanded substantially with Chinese Navy transferring the coast guard vessels to provide maritime protection to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,5 of these 6 ships have been delivered &6th ship is expected to be delivered soon.[12]

Roles and functions

Pakistan Maritime Security Agency has roles in maritime homeland security, national and international maritime law enforcement (MLE), search and rescue (SAR), marine environmental protection (MEP), and the maintenance of intracoastal and offshore aids to navigation (ATON).[16] The agency is mandate to protect the fishing vessels and crew against any threat within the Maritime Zones (MZ).[16]

The agency performs military operations authorized by the Ministry of Defence to protect the economic and maritime interests of Pakistan.[16] The agency also provides security and assists governmental agencies, international organizations and the Pakistan Navy in petroleum and other mineral exploration in Pakistan's naval zones.[16] The agency coordinates the oceanographic research and other scientific activities of the Navy Hydrographic Department.[16]

Organizational headquarters

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) is a branch within the Navy, and is headquartered near the vicinity of the Karachi Fish Harbour and the KESW Ltd. in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.[17] Since it was established in 1987, the PMSA was headquartered in different hired commercial buildings, most notably, the Karachi Port Trust Building until the new headquarters were constructed and inaugurated on 15 January 2011.[17]

Leadership and the personnel are directly appointed from the Navy and the agency consists of a Director-General and it is commanded by a two-star rank, a Rear-Admiral seconded from Pakistan Navy. The headquarters of the agency and personnel are placed under the command of Commander of Coastal Areas (COMCOAST), who usually supervise the operations for the Ministry of Defence.[17]

Commissioned officers and enlisted rank

The Maritime Security Agency is an agency within the Navy, therefore, it uses the same ranks and insignia as the Pakistan Navy as all of its members are active-duty personnel of the Navy.:131[7]

Structure of the Commissioned officer rank in the Pakistan MSA
Pay gradeO-8O-7O-6O-5O-4O-3O-2O-1

Title Rear-Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman
Rank Hierarchy 2-star Admiral 1-star Admiral
Structure of the Other Ranks in the Pakistan MSA
Pay gradeCPO-3CPO-2CPO-1OR-6OR-5OR-4OR-3OR-2OR-1
Title Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer No equivalent Leading Rate No equivalent Able Tech-I Ordinary Tech-II
Insignia No insignia



The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency operates the vessels imported from China, with contracts awarded to the Huangpu Shipyard and KESW Ltd. in Pakistan. The PMSA has three squadrons as listed:

22nd Offshore Patrol SquadronOSRON 22PMSS Barkat
PMSS Vehdat
PMSS Nusrat
PMSS Rehmat
Built in Huangpu Shipyard in 1989 and commissioned on 13 June 1990.[18]
Built in Huangpu Shipyard in 1989 and commissioned on 13 June 1990.[19]
Built in 1989 at Huangpu Shipyard and commissioned as on 13 June 1990.[20]
Laid on 21 October 1988 in Huangpu Shipyard and commissioned on 29 December 1988.[21]
23rd Offshore Patrol SquadronOSRON 23Patrol Craft FastInducted into PMSA after donated by the United States Navy.[22]
26th Offshore Patrol SquadronOSRON 26PMSS Kashmir
PMSS Dasht
PMSS Hingol
PMSS Basol
PMSS Sabqat
PMSS Rafaqat
PMSS Kolachi
Laid on 16 August 2016 in Haungpu Shipyard and commissioned on 20 July 2018.[23][24]
Built in KESW Ltd. and commissioned on 9 August 2018.[25]
Constructed by the Xijiang Shipbuilding Co. in 2016. Commissioned on 22 May 2017.[26]
Constructed by the Xijiang Shipbuilding Co. in 2016. Commissioned on 14 January 2017.[27]
Constructed by the Xijiang Shipbuilding Co. in 2015. Commissioned on 10 December 2016.[28]
United States Coast Guard transferred to Pakistan on 21 September 2017[29]
United States Coast Guard transferred to Pakistan on 21 September 2017.[30]
PMSS NazimDecommissioned as of 6 October 2010.
The Nazim is an "on sea" headquarters and is now considered non-operational and hasn't been moved in years.[32]


93rd PMSA SquadronBritten-Norman DefenderStationed in Naval Air Station Mehran
Fokker F27 FriendshipRetired in 1992 from the Naval Aviation.[33]
Navy aircraft that was transferred to MSA in 1993.[34]
The Navy aircraft was then transferred to PAF and was involved in air crash in 2003 that killed Gen. Mushaf Ali Mir, the air chief.[35]


The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency operates one aircraft squadron known as Squadron 93 PMSA.[36] The squadron was inaugurated on 23 June 1988 with the induction of a Fokker F27 Friendship an interim measure, for sea surveillance.[36] The aircraft was stationed at Jinnah Terminal for the purpose of logistics support.[37] In 1993, the PMSA acquired the Britten-Norman Defender stationed at Mehran Naval Air Station.[36]

Decommissioned aircraft

  • Fokker F27 Friendship— Only one aircraft entered service with PMSA. The aircraft was handed over to the Pakistan Air Force in August 1992.[38]

References [36]

  1. "Pakistan Maritime Security Agency: BACKGROUND OF PMSA". Pakistan Maritime Security Agency: BACKGROUND OF PMSA. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. (Iiss), The International Institute of Strategic Studies (14 February 2017). "The Military Balance 2017". Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. Retrieved 6 April 2018 via Google Books.
  3. "Pakistan Maritime Security: Vessels, boats, and assets". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  4. MSA. "Maritime Security Agency: History". Pakistan Navy and Government of Pakistan. MSA Directorate of History. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  5. Tan, Andrew T. H. (2010). The Politics of Maritime Power: A Survey. Routledge. ISBN 9781136833427. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  6. Cole, Bernard (2013). Asian Maritime Strategies: Navigating Troubled Waters. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781612513133. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  7. Anwar, Muhammad (1999). Role of smaller navies: a focus on Pakistan's maritime interests (snippet view) (1st ed.). Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan: Directorate of Naval Educational Services, Naval Headquarters. p. 212. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  8. Governmental. "Area of responsibility". E-Government MSA (Area of responsibility). Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  9. "Message of MSA". E Government MSA. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  10. MSA Government. "Directorate-Generals of the MSA". Director-Generals of PMSA. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  12. "Two maritime patrol vessels arrive at Gwadar Port from China - Pakistan - Dunya News". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  13. "Official site". Archived from the original on 2014-12-26.
  14. "Images of vessels" (PDF). Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. "Former DGs Pakistan Maritime Security Agency::". Former DGs Pakistan Maritime Security Agency::. Retrieved 17 December 2018.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  16. E GOvernment. "Roles and Functions of MSA". MSA Functions and Roles. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  17. "::Pakistan Maritime Security Agency::". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  18. MSA. "PMSS Barkat". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  19. MSA. "MSS Vehdat". Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  20. "MSS Nusrat".
  21. "[ PMSS Rehmat]". External link in |title= (help)
  22. "SAFE BOATS (FAST RESPONSE BOATS)". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  23. "Fifth patrol vessel inducted into maritime agency's fleet". Dawn. September 8, 2018.
  24. "PMSS KASHMIR". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  25. "PMSS Zhob". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  26. "PMSS Dasht". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  27. "PMSS Hingol".
  28. "PMSS Basol".
  29. ":PMSS Sabqat". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  31. "Images of vessels" (PDF). Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  32. "Images of vessels" (PDF). Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  33. "93 Squadron PMSA". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  34. GEO Urdu; et al. (5 October 2015). "Fokker that caused martyrdom of Mushaf Ali Mir was faulty". News International, 2015. News International. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  35. E-Government. "Squadron No 93. PMSA". Squadron No 93. PMSA (aircraft). Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  36. "::Pakistan Maritime Security Agency::". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  37. "VH-FNW Fokker F.27-2061 Friendship". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
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