KARACHI, Aug 19 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on Friday morning.
Speaking as chief guest at the launching ceremony of the 17000-ton Fleet Tanker that has been built with the cooperation of Turkey, the Prime Minister expressed pleasure over the launch of the largest warship prepared in the country by Karachi Shipyard.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah, Under Secretary of Turkey Prof Dr Ismail Demir, Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Governor Sindh Dr. Ishratul Ebad, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, foreign diplomats, civilian and military officials attended the launching ceremony.
The Prime Minister said the launching of the ship two months ahead of the schedule was a gift to the nation on its 70th Independence Day.
He said the Fleet Tanker being built in the collaboration with Turkish shipbuilding firm M/S. Savunma Teknologiler Muhendisilik (STM) under the ambit of the Ministry of Defence Production and Pakistan Navy was a true testament of the our efforts towards indigenization and enhanced collaboration with our brotherly country Turkey.
He expressed the hope that this cooperation would continue in future and more ships would be built in Karachi Shipyard in collaboration with Turkish firms.
The Prime Minister congratulated the Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy and STM Turkey and particularly Karachi Shipyard for launching the ship ahead of schedule. He said that Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker would always be remembered as an icon of Pakistan-Turkey friendship.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan and Turkey were time-tested friends, adding that though the two countries were geographically apart, yet they were united by faith, common heritage, shared civilization and commonality of interest.
He said the joint ventures like the construction of the Fleet Tanker would further strengthen the two countries’ relations.
This initiative would open more opportunities for further cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defence sector products.
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Karachi Shipyard was an exceptional story of success in public sector which should be emulated by other similar organizations.
The Prime Minister said he was confident that through continued hardwork, better management practices and government patronage Karachi Shipyard would achieve many more such laurals in the future.
He said the successful construction of the Fleet Tanker would play a vital role towards achieving self-reliance in defence production and the government would continue to support the policy of indigenization in all technological spheres.
The Prime Minister appreciated the workforce and management of Karachi Shipyard for transforming Karachi Shipyard into a profitable and viable organization.
He announced a bonus of Rs. 100 million for the employees of Karachi Shipyard.
The ongoing development programs of the government including China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stipulate the aim to achieve maximum output in terms of regional trade and trans-shipment with Gwadar as the focal point, he said.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was blessed with long coastline and was strategically located at the mouth of the Gulf. He said there were extensive trade and maritime activities being undertaken at two major seaports of Karachi. These would increase manifold with growth in the country’s financial and industrial base.
Additional capacity has to be created to support expansion in these activities, he added.
He said the government was committed to consolidate maritime infrastructure along the coast from Karachi to Gwadar.
The Prime Minister said he has the vision of strong, democratic and economically viable Pakistan, adding that Pakistan would not compromise on its strategic interests.
He said that Pakistan has immense power potential and resources for economic development, and this must be harnessed effectively for the country’s development.
Later, the Prime Minister cut the fastening strings and the
Fleet Tanker was moved into the sea with the help of a tugboat at the platform of Karachi Shipyard.
The ship is capable of independently operating at sea for up to three months. The double hull tanker is compliant with latest International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and marine Pollution (MARPOL) regulations.
It will provide logistics support to Pakistan Navy units at sea through transfer of liquid and dry cargo and is also capable of undertaking combat support operation through embarked helicopters. The ship is also equipped with modern medical facilities to support Pakistan Navy Fleet units, both during war and disaster relief operations.
Earlier, KS&EM Managing Director Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, in his welcome address, said that KS&EW has successfully constructed number of warships for Pakistan Navy in the past and it was fully geared up to undertake more challenging projects. (Last)