Starting its journey with two frigates and four minesweepers, in 1947, Pakistan Navy came of age to become a reckonable naval force in the region. Unfair distribution of naval assets at the time of partition had left Navy in an extremely difficult position to start its capability development. Much of the warfighting, training and logistics infrastructure was retained by India, in clear contradiction to the proposals of Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee, established under Gen Auchinleck, which decided to distribute the naval assets between India and Pakistan with a 2:1 ratio. The final distribution that actually took place was way too off this ratio (somewhere close to 5:1 in favour of India), letting Pakistan Navy face a daunting task to begin everything from scratch.The Navy began its infrastructure development from 1950s with the setting up of Dockyard and naval training schools in Karachi. Submarine acquisition program commenced during that time with efforts to get British and Swedish submarines but it wasn’t until the Navy was successful in acquiring a Tench Class US submarine in 1964. Procurement of destroyers and minesweepers had also been in the major acquisition plans of the Navy. Meanwhile, exercises and cruises were held to develop better interoperability of the new Navy with other navies of the world. In 1950, HMPS Sind visited Saudia, HMPS Tipu Sultan visited Turkey, and HMPS Shamsher visited Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Amphibious warfare exercise was conducted in October-November 1951 with ships from Pakistan and the UK. Amphibious landing was conducted on Clifton Beach on 5 November 1951, where 3rd and 8th Punjab Regiment units on the beach. Pakistan Navy continued its upward journey but it wasn’t without jolts, blows and surprises. Besides the ‘partition shock’, Pakistan Navy had to sail throughsome turbulent waters that affected its road to progress. On the eve of passage of Pakistan’s first constitution in 1956, the Navy’s seniority was relegated to the second spot behind Army, signifying the governmental focus it would get for the time to come. Necessary funds, needed for the Navy’s growth, were hard to come by in earlyto mid-50s. At that time it had largely been assumed that the sea hadn’t figured significantly in economic and national security of the country because of a long land border with India and agrarian-based economy. This gave rise to what may now be termed as ‘land-locked thinking’ or the ‘continental mindset’. Some authors prefer to use the term ‘Sea Blindness’, which reflects a condition where importance of the seas is grossly ignored because of lack of maritime awareness. In the same vein, the sea blindness could also overshadow the role of the Navy it plays at military and diplomatic levels.Steadily, as it appeared, the Navy kept consolidating from every available resource that it could muster to become a dependable force. This track can be seen through four ‘points of inflection’ that immensely impacted the Navy’s outlook, both in size and doctrine. The first of these points of inflection is Pakistan’s joining of SEATO and CENTO, during the Cold War, which afforded the Navy to have American vessels and weapons. This event heralded a new era where Pakistan Navy had a superior edge over India in anti-ship and self-defence weapons. Induction of Garcia and Brooke classes of frigates, in 1989, enabled the Navy to maintain a formidable surface Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability that considerably deterred the Indian subsurface combatants to ingress into Pakistan waters. The second point of inflection on the development curve of the Navy occurred when it had to return the Brooke and Garcia frigates to the United States upon expiry of lease (5 years from 1989 to 1994) because Pakistan’s request to turn the lease into acquisition was declined by the Bush government. Though this made Pakistan Navy, somewhat, paralyzed without a credible surface platform to operate freely in the Indian Ocean, yet it left a deep mark on Pakistan Navy’s strategic thinking that now predicated on platform diversification and lessening of dependence on the United States. Subsequently, T-21 frigates from the Royal Navy, Agosta 90B submarines and Eridan class minehunters from France were procured in quick succession to fill the capability void created by the departure of the US-origin platforms. T-21 frigates brought a ‘sea change’ in Pakistan Navy’s operational culture and doctrinal contours. Induction of ships not only helped the Navy sustain its national security commitments, but significantly transform the professional military education, operational sea training and branch structure of the Navy. These changes that occurred in mid-1990s are still valid to this day.Post-9/11 environment is the third point of inflection in the Navy’s evolution, which significantly altered the core concepts of its operational endurance and its capacity to undertake maritime security operations. The United States’ reorientation towards Indian Ocean afforded Pakistan Navy an opportunity to join and lead the multilateral naval coalitions operating in the North Arabian Sea. This enhanced the Navy’s ability to operate together with numerous regional and extra-regional navies that tremendously raised Pakistan’s image and increased its professional capacity to plan and execute myriad operations across the spectrum of conflict. Pakistan Navy learnt to adapt to what may be termed ‘operational transition’, which is the ability to seamlessly switch from one role to another across the domains of conventional warfighting, humanitarian assistance operations and anti-sub conventional warfare (SCW). Post-2017 presents the fourth point of inflection, where Pakistan Navy re-evaluated its strategic priorities and embarked upon independent initiative for maritime security under the concepts outlined in its doctrinal documents. Release of ‘Maritime Doctrine of Pakistan (MDP)’, Naval Chief’s ‘Navy’s Strategic Vision’ paper and kick-start of Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) reflect the outlook of a modern Pakistan Navy, which has the right disposition to radiate influence over regional maritime matters. Induction of 8 new Hangor class submarines, 4 Type-054A destroyers, 4 land attack capable off-shore patrol vessels, 6 Milgem class frigates and Embraer jet Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft are a few indicators of the combat lethality that the Navy seeks. The extensive expansion in Pakistan Marines and their associated infrastructure is indicative of the level of preparedness for thwarting enemy’s current or emerging amphibious designs, force protection and anti-SCW safeguards. Implementation of Coastal Security & Harbour Defence organization besides institution of Task Force-88 would mean Pakistan’s coast has a structured defence against elements conspiring to harm Pakistan’s maritime interests.The Navy, through RMSP, argues for a maritime security architecture, which is ‘region-owned and region-led’ that ensures freedom to conduct maritime commerce in the Indian Ocean and particularly in the North Arabian Sea. This is in sync with the foundational maritime concepts presented in MDP, launched in 2018, the cornerstone of which is “preserving freedom of the seas”. Pakistan Navy celebrates the 72nd year of its existence, where it might need to recall the spirit once proclaimed by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in his address at the Naval Academy, in March 1948:The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force.Pakistan Navy stood the test of time during the two wars with India. Seeking an offensive edge, in 1965 war, over a numerically superior adversary, the Navy successfully launched Operation Somnath that ended in a dramatic neutralization of Dwarka’s important radar station that stewarded the maritime and airspace to eliminate any chances of surprise by Pakistan Navy. In the 1971 war, PNS/M Hangor sank Indian frigate INS Khukri and damaged another one, ending the false sense of maritime superiority held by the Indian Navy. PNS/M Ghazi, in the same war, checkmated the Indian aircraft carrier for considerable time. It was only after the unfortunate sinking of Ghazi that INS Vikrant was finally able to sail and conduct air operations in the Bay of Bengal.Pakistan Navy, can rightly claim this 14th August, as a force that can play its part in pursuance of Pakistan’s strategic interests. With rightly configured platforms and current capabilities, the Navy is able to undertake operations from nation protection to nation building.