Maritime Security Agency

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Pakistan Maritime Security Agency
Active 1 January 1987 — Present (28 years ago)
Country 23x15px Pakistan
Branch 21px Pakistan Navy
Type Coast Guard
Size 5,000 (active duty personnel)
Part of Pakistan Navy
Ministry of Defence
Naval Combatant Headquarters (NHQ) Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan
Nickname(s) PMSA
Colours Identification Navy blue and White
Anniversaries Navy Day: September 6
Engagements 1999 Indo-Pakistan war
2001 Indo-Pakistani standoff
War on Terror
Commander Rear-Admiral Jamil Akhtar, SI(M)
DGeneral of the PMSA
Admiral Asif Sandila
RAdm Tahseenullah Khan
  • For the other organisation previously known as the Maritime Security Agency see: Pakistan Coast Guard

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (Urdu: سمندری محفوظی ایجنسی; reporting name: PMSA) is a law enforcement service and the one of the six uniform service branch of the Paramilitary command of Pakistan.[1] The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency is operationally tasked with conducting the maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the Pakistan military branches having the maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters).[1] The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency is the executive regulatory agency of the Government of Pakistan operates under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) during peacetime, but it can be transferred to Pakistan Navy by the governmental orders during the time of war.[1][citation needed]

Adopting the genesis of the UN Convention on Law of the Sea in 1982, the agency was established in 1987 and gained its constitutional status in 1994 after Parliament ratifying the convention.[1] The agency can conduct military operations under the Ministry of Defence and its legal authority differs from the other three armed services of Pakistan. The agency's roles and extends the area of responsibility by protecting the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Pakistan which is up to 200 nautical miles (370 km) in the International waters,[2] and operations in deep sea (including Search and Rescue) maritime safety, security, and stewardship.[3] The agency's executive officer is designated as Director-General (DG) and holds a two-star rank, a Rear-Admiral in the Navy.[4] The current director of the agency is Rear-Admiral Jamil Akhtar SI(M) who took the directorship of the agency in 2015.[3]


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, [5]

Roles and Functions[edit]

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).[6] The agency is mandate to protect the fishing vessels and crew against any threat within the Maritime Zones (MZ).[6]

The agency performs military operations authorized by the Ministry of Defence to protect the economic and maritime interests of Pakistan.[6] 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.[6] The agency coordinates the oceanographic research and other scientific activities of the Navy Hydrographic Department.[6]

Organizational headquarters[edit]

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) is a paramilitary branch of the Pakistan Navy, not a separate branch.[7] The officers, other ranks and equipment, are mostly derived from the Navy.[7] Keeping the military code of the paramilitary command of Pakistan, its original strength and inventory is classified but it is expected to be consist of approximately 5000 members. The headquarters of the agency is situated in Karachi.[7] Since its inception, the agency's headquarters were located in different hired commercial buildings at different locations in Karachi. In 2007, the Navy Engineering Branch began the construction of the new headquarter building and completed the course of work in 2009.[7] Finally, on 2010, the new building was occupied by the Navy on March 2010 and finally inaugurated on 15 January 2011 by Chief of the Naval Staff.[7] 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.[7]

Historical overview[edit]

Although the Pakistan Coast Guard was established by the Government of Pakistan under the command of Pakistan Army and operated by the Ministry of Interior, the Coast Guard was unable to conduct off shore operations and execute law enforcement missions, this was instead done by the Pakistan Navy. The Government of Pakistan adopted the genesis of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1982 and acquired an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 240,000 square miles (620,000 km2). In order to provide protection to this vast area, the Pakistan Government decided to raise the Agency under the Ministry of Defence consisting the members of Navy. The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) was formally inaugurated on 1 January 1987 and gained its constitutional status in 1997 after ratification of the UNCLOS. The agency implements the local and international laws in the EEZ, and provides surveillance against poaching by illegal vessels and unauthorized survey by foreign craft. It also conducts Search and Rescue missions, and implements measures for control of pollution and fishery protection.

Commissioned officers rank[edit]

The order of hierarchy, commissioned and non-commissioned ranks structure of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency are same and as equivalent of Pakistan Navy (as the officers and personnel seconded to the Navy_. The PMSA directly reports of the Commander Coast (COMCOAST).

Structure of the Commissioned officer rank of the Pakistan Navy
Pay grade O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1
Title No equivalent No equivalent Rear-Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-Lieutenant Midshipman
Abbreviation NE NE RAdm Cdre Capt Cdr LCdr Lt SLt Mdshp
NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1
Rank Hierarchy NE NE 2-star Admiral 1-star Officer

Structure of the Enlisted rank of the Pakistan Navy
Pay grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-1
Title Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer No equivalent Leading Rate No equivalent Able Seaman Tech-I Ordinary Rate Tech-II No equivalent
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 OR-1


Ships and boats[edit]

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency is equipped with four corvettes, and nine small fast response boats (FBP). The agency also operates three Britten-Norman Defender aircraft for the purposes of search and rescue and navigation.

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency currently operates former Pakistan Navy vessels and currently operates the following:

  • Four corvettes built in the Peoples Republic of China. The Huangpu Shipyard built the corvettes in 1988-89 and delivered the ships to the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency in 1990, the date of commissioned of the ships.
    • PMSS Vehdat[8] — she was built in Huangpu Shipyard in 1989 and commissioned on 13 June 1990
    • PMSS Nusrat[9] — She was built in December 1989 at Huangpu Shipyard and commissioned as on 13 June 1990.
    • PMSS Rehmat[10] — The ship was formally laid on 21 October 1988 in Huangpu Shipyard and commissioned on 29 December 1988
    • PMSS Barkat[11] — She was laid on 21 October 1988 in Haungpu Shipyard and was commissioned on 29 December 1989

Decommissioned ships[edit]

PMSS Nazim was decommissioned on 6 October 2010[14]


File:Britten norman defender g-gmpb at manchester arp.jpg
The PMSA operates three Defender aircraft similar to the one above in this photo.

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency operates one aircraft squadron known as Squadron 93 PMSA.[15] The squadron was inaugurated on 23 June 1988 with the induction of a Fokker F27 Friendship an interim measure, for sea surveillance.[15] The aircraft is stationed at Jinnah Terminal for the purpose of logistics support.[15] In 1993, the PMSA acquired the Britten-Norman Defender stationed at Mehran Naval Air Station.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 MSA. "Maritime Security Agency: History". Pakistan Navy and Government of Pakistan. MSA Directorate of History. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  2. Governmental. "Area of responsibility". E-Government MSA (Area of responsibility). Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Message of MSA". E Government MSA. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  4. MSA Government. "Directorate-Generals of the MSA". Director-Generals of PMSA. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  5. "Official site". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 E GOvernment. "Roles and Functions of MSA". MSA Functions and Roles. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Headquarter of MSA. "Headquarters of MSA:History". Headquarter of MSA. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  8. MSA. "MSS Vehdat". Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  9. "MSS Nusrat". 
  10. "MSS Rehman". 
  11. "MSS Berkat". 
  12. "Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA)" (PDF). Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  13. "OPERATIONAL ASSETS OF PMSA". Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  14. "Ex-MSS Nazim". Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 E-Government. "Squadron No 93. PMSA". Squadron No 93. PMSA (aircraft). Retrieved 18 April 2012. 

External links[edit]