SHANGHAI: Ambassador Masood Khalid has said that Pakistan and China relations are ‘multi faceted and multidimensional’, and cooperation in defense field is a vital component of bonds of friendship between the two countries.
While addressing a reception hosted to celebrate the goodwill visit of two Pakistan Navy ships namely Khaibar and Nasr, on board PN Nasr, here on Tuesday evening, Ambassador Khalid remarked that seeing Pakistan’s navy in the friendly waters of China was a matter of great pleasure and pride for him.
He said that Pakistan and China enjoy a time-honoured, time-tested friendship that has stood the vicissitudes of international changes since the last many decades.
The Pakistan Navy, in conjunction with Chinese and other navies of the world, is contributing to promot peace and stability in our region and the world at large, he added.
The exchange of visits between both the navies is a regular feature of bilateral cooperation. The two navies are engaged in anti-piracy cooperation in Indian Ocean, whereas cooperation in counter-terrorism is also intensifying he further noted.
Underlining the importance of the 4-day visit of PNS Khaibar and PNS Nasr to Shanghai that started this Monday, Ambassador Khalid said that such port calls not only promote goodwill and amity between the two navies, but also enhance cultural understanding and people to people contacts and entail immense professional value.
Ambassador Khalid expressed the confidence that PLA Navy and Pakistan Navy would take advantage of this opportunity to further enhance goodwill and friendship. “We look forward to similar visits by PLA Navy to Pakistan in the coming months”, Ambassador Khalid added.
Speaking on the occasion, Commander Shanghai Naval Garrison and Deputy Commander East Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Li Yujie said that the visit of two Pakistan navy ships to China will enhance friendship and defense cooperation. He termed the long-standing friendship between Pakistan and China as ‘time honored and time tested’.
In recent years, the two countries have maintained a comprehensive, cooperative partnership, Commander Li said adding that the relations especially between the two navies have developed speedily and smoothly, with the naval ships of both the countries visiting each other ever more frequently.
Earlier, Commander Destroyer Squadron Commodore Ali Abbas in his welcome address said that in an era of security, economic and environment challenges, joint efforts and cooperation of international community are considered imperative.
This requires mutual understanding, bilateral coordination between the forces and various agencies to make the world peaceful and harmonious, he added. He said that mutual goodwill visits of naval forces had historically played a pivotal role in strengthening the bonds of friendship between various nations. This visit of Khaibar and Nasr to China is also aimed at further strengthening the time tested bonds of friendship between the two countries, he said.
Commodore Ali Abbas said Pakistan and China enjoy warm and brotherly relations that developed over the years. The level of cooperation between the Pakistan Navy and PLA Navy has enhanced manifold during the recently years.
The foremost among these are the construction of F-22P class warship and Azmat class warship for Pakistan Navy.
Pakistan, he said believes in promoting peace and security in the region and in this connection we remain committed to international resolve to maintain stability and curb terrorism.
Pakistan Navy as an instrument of government policy has the mission to safeguard these objectives, he added. He pointed out that Pakistan navy in cooperation with international and regional navies remains engaged in operation to prevent maritime environment from being used for unlawful purposes. Commodore Ali Abbas also extended goodwill sentiments and brotherly feelings on behalf of Chief of the Pakistan Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila NI (M) to PLA Navy and all those present on the occasion.
The dinner was attended by Deputy Commander China’s East Sea Fleet and Commander of the Shanghai Naval Garrison Rear Admiral Li Yujie, Rear Admiral Arifullah Hussaini, Commodore Ali Abbas, Defence Attache Brig. Hassan Azhar Hayat, Naval Attache Afzaal- ur- Rehman, Press and Culture Attache Asif-ur-Rehman, Commercial Counselor Riaz Shaikh, Consul General Shanghai Zafar Hassan, besides officials of Foreign Affairs office of the Shanghai Municipal government, Defense Attaches and diplomats of various countries, business community and a large number of military officers.
Earlier in the day, the sailors of the two navies took parts in various sports activates.
The ships opened for general public and was largely visited by a number of Chinese and Pakistanis with their families today.
The two Pakistan’s Navy ships had arrived here on Monday and will leave Thursday for Indonesia on their next destination.