Pakistan Navy offers to fight challenges

The current maritime challenges in the region demand greater naval co-operation, the Pakistan Navy chief has said.

Admiral Noman Bashir, who is on a visit to Qatar, offered his navy’s services in combating the challenges.

“Pakistan Navy wants to work with the regional navies for maintaining peace and stability in the region. We are willing to share the burden through increased co-operation with GCC navies,” Admiral Bashir told reporters.

He said his visit was aimed at enhancing the Pakistan Navy’s historic relations with Qatari Navy in training, technical manpower, exchange visits of ships and officers. Qatar’s Navy recently sent observers to witness the multi-nation maritime exercise ‘Aman-09’ conducted by the Pakistan Navy off the coast of Karachi. More than 34 countries took part in the show.

“We will be sending ships to Doha for the DIMDEX 2009, a maritime exhibition, but because Doha Port has been busy with commercial activity of late, we were not able to make regular visits,” he said.

Highlighting the Pakistan Navy’s international commitments, the official said that despite resource-constraints it was playing a role in combating maritime terrorism through participation in International Coalition Task Force-150 since 2004 and added that a decision had also been taken in principle to send a ship to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.

He said the focus was on improving operational readiness and consolidating current assets.

“Indigenous construction and transfer of technology is being given priority. Out of four frigates we are acquiring from China, one will be constructed in Pakistan,” he said.

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