In Pakistan admiralty jurisdiction is conferred upon the Sindh and Baluchistan High Court by virtue of the “Admiralty Jurisdiction of High Court Ordinance 1980”. The 1980’s Ordinance is almost similar to the English Law and therefore it is uncomplicated to arrest a ship in Pakistan. Any Ship or one of her sister ships, may be arrested provided if:

  • Claimant’s cause of action carries with it a right of arrest; and
  • The ship, or one of her sister ships, is available in Pakistan (Karachi or Baluchistan )

The claimant’s Advocate will apply to issue a warrant of arrest, supported by an affidavit. The affidavit consists of facts, information and belief, with the sources and grounds thereof and made under oath. It constitutes the only evidential requirement for arrest.

The warrant once issued by the Hon’ble High Court is filed with the bailiff, together with request to execute the warrant and an undertaking to pay the costs of arrest. In many cases an agreed contractual security (usually a P &I club letter of undertaking) is provided without the need for application to court.

Alternatively, a bail bond can be provided to the satisfaction of the court. The adequacy of security in support of a bail bond is a subject of court discretion and the court will usually order bank or corporate sureties or the defendant to pay cash into court in lieu. It is also a prerequisite that the agreement of the plaintiff and all caveator’s be obtained. The bailiff then releases the vessel. A release can usually be obtained promptly, subject to the requirements being satisfied (especially, of course, the provision of satisfactory security).