Prime Minister Office (Press Wing)
Islamabad, 25 November 2022
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President of Türkiye participate in the launching of the MILGEM Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy, 25th November 2022.
Launching ceremony of the third of the fourth MILGEM class corvette, PNS Khaibar, for Pakistan Navy was held today at Istanbul Naval Shipyard. Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan graced the occasion as chief guests.
The PNS Khaibar was launched with a prayer by both leaders for its safe functioning. Both leaders also jointly performed keel laying and steel cutting of the offshore patrol vessels for Turkish Navy.
Addressing the ceremony, the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the exceptional nature of Pakistan-Türkiye relations and the historic tradition of supporting each other during times of trial and tribulation.
Tracing the glorious history of deep rooted bilateral fraternal ties, the Prime Minister said that the defence collaboration between Pakistan and Türkiye for the construction of MILGEM class warships was aimed at promoting peace and warding off aggression. He called for further strengthening of joint defence production capabilities. The Prime Minister added that the Pakistan-Türkiye strategic partnership was a source of stability for the entire region.
The Prime Minister greatly appreciated President Erdoğan’s personally supervising the assistance effort from Türkiye to Pakistan in the aftermath of the devastating floods in Pakistan.
In his address, President Erdoğan noted that the two countries shared a strategic relationship as they mark the 75th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. He highlighted that the Turkish people had not forgotten the assistance from the Muslims of the subcontinent during its national struggle. President Erdoğan termed defence cooperation an important pillar of the bilateral relationship and congratulated everyone involved in the successful execution of the MILGEM project.
Speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Şentop, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, and Turkish Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank also attended the event. From Pakistan side, Minister of Defence Production Muhammad Israr Tareen, Minister of Commerce Naveed Qamar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Maryum Aurangzeb, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Fahd Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi, and Chief of the Naval Staff of Pakistan Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi attended the ceremony.
Earlier, upon his arrival at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, the Prime Minister was received by Turkish President Erdoğan and presented a guard of honour.
The contract for four MILGEM Class Corvettes for Pakistan Navy was signed in 2018. Under the contract, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. Induction of MILGEM warships in Pakistan Navy fleet will augment its capability and contribute in its efforts towards maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region.