Monday, February 25, 2013

Pakistan Navy backs joint efforts to combat piracy

Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Jurrat and submarine Khalid have arrived at Port Sultan Qaboos as part of the efforts to further improve bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as between their naval forces.

Speaking to Times of Oman, Commodore Ahmed Saeed said that Pakistan Navy ship's visit to Oman aims at boosting cooperation and relations between the two countries and their navies.

"Pakistan and Oman have a long history of very good relations. Oman is our most friendly neighbour, and our partnership, particularly as far as naval exercises are concerned, has been going on for many years. Our ships have been coming to Oman, and their warships have been visiting our bases regularly," he said.

Anti-piracy efforts
Commodore Ahmed informed that the Pakistan Navy has joined coalition efforts in the Gulf of Aden/Somalia Coast, taking part in counter-piracy deployments. "These coalitions are the need of the hour to thwart common threats in the maritime sector," he added.

PNS Jurrat, a missile boat ac-quired from China, was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy in 1981. It was upgraded as a multipurpose auxiliary craft with enhanced capabilities and launched in 2002 at Karachi Shipyard, and commissioned in February 2006. The ship has participated in national and international exercises.

PNS Khalid is the first of the Agosta 90-B class submarines acquired by the Pakistan Navy from France, and was inducted into the fleet in December 1999.

Commodore Ahmed also said that naval forces have historically played a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds of friendship between nations through goodwill visits. "Naval ships are true ambassadors to represent their nations in the comity of maritime states. Besides goodwill, overseas deployments also serve common professional pursuits and inter-operability between allied navies," he said.

He noted that the Pakistani Navy enjoys cordial relations with the Royal Navy of Oman in all fields. "We hope this visit will open new avenues in bilateral cooperation,'' he added.

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