JEDDAH: On a four day goodwill mission, two combating ships from Pakistan Navy PNS ALAMGIR and PNS ASLAT arrived at Jeddah Port, which will return after joint exercises with Royal Saudi Naval forces.
Commodore Zahid Al-Shehri of Royal Saudi Navy, Pakistani Consul General Aftab Khokher, diplomats, dignitaries, mediapersons, officers of Saudi Navy and a large number of community members attended the Pak-Saudi friendship cake-cutting ceremony held at the upper deck of PNS ALAMGIR.
Speaking as chief guest at a dinner Monday aboard PNS ALAMGIR, Khokher praised the deep military, especially naval, relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Mentioning the special status both nations accord to each other, Khokher said: “The frequent goodwill missions of Pakistan naval ships are not only a manifestation of close collaboration between the naval forces of the two countries but also a reflection of close and fraternal ties between them.
“A visit by two important naval ships of Pakistan Navy is an important contribution to the ongoing close cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the naval field.
“The recent visit has given us an opportunity to showcase to the naval strength of Pakistan. These two ships have state-of-the-art facilities and we are proud that they are in a position to strengthen the defense of Pakistan.”
These ships conducted counter-piracy exercises besides terrorism on the sea along with other countries. It is part of the team along with Saudi Arabia which regularly takes part in such exercises, said Khokher.
“Very few nations in the world are so close to each other as the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” Khokher said, adding, “The outcome of the frequent visits of the Pakistan naval ships will strengthen the relations and especially the combined visit of two warrior ships shows the bonding of the two countries.”
Answering a question, Khokher said: “More than twenty consuls general from China, Japan and representatives of France, all the Middle East countries including Palestine, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and even Afghanistan gathered in Jeddah to be part of the celebration.”
The consul general thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and the Saudi leadership for looking after the interests of the Pakistani community in the Kingdom. He said relations between the two countries are based on deep love and respect for each other.
Naval and Air Force attaché at the Pakistan Embassy in Riyadh, Commodore Ibrahim Asad, told Saudi Gazette that PNS AlAMGIR and PNS ASLAT are playing a major anti-piracy role in the Gulf of Aden.
PNS ASLAT is the first F-22P Frigate of Pakistan Navy that was indigenously built in collaboration with the China and is equipped with state-of-the-art combat management systems, torpedoes and missiles, said Ibrahim.
A newly built PNS Aslat is a hi-tech ship built in Pakistan with the cooperation of China which can deter any threats towards Pakistani waters, said Ibrahim. Both ships were busy in duty in the Mediterranean for the last two months and after the visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ships will sail off to international waters.
Main aim of the visits was to bond the relationship of the two navies where we share training, Ibahim said. We train Saudi cadets as per the requirement.
Earlier, Commanding Officer Capt. Faisal welcomed the guests and briefly touched upon combat capabilities of the two naval ships.