PAKISTANIS would certainly take pride in the fact that despite the everyday sabre-rattling by New Delhi, their leaders have kept their cool. The statement by Prime Minister Gilani, on Monday, while addressing a group of Navy officers in Karachi, that Pakistan is a peaceful country with no aggressive designs towards its neighbours and would only keep a minimum deterrence for its defence, is welcome as it shows the maturity of our leaders vis--vis the Indians who are invariably at daggers drawn with us. He was speaking at the induction ceremony of PNS Shamsheer, a warship equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, manufactured jointly by Pakistan and China. Both the Prime Minister and Navy Chief Admiral Noman Bashir praised China for its support in the F-22 P Frigate project. The warship that is equipped with long-range surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and a modern command and control system would strengthen our Navy that has to neutralise the threat posed by an ominous Indian Navy equipped with ultimate destruction warships including an aircraft carrier. This project is a landmark that speaks volumes about our affinity, particularly the military relationship, with China. JF-17 Thunder, considered to be a substitute for US F-16s is yet another proof of the high-tech defence cooperation. The naval ships venture also shows that Beijings strategic alliance with us has been able to survive the shocks dealt by Islamabads subordinate attitude towards the US. By any reckoning, China has stood with us through thick and thin. At the ceremony, the Admiral rightly pointed out that the Navy had successfully been guarding the countrys maritime security, not only keeping the terrorist who might be slipping into the country through the coast at bay, but also cracking down on illegal activities like piracy. In view of the escalating tensions in the region, it is a source of great comfort to know that Pakistan armed forces are ready to meet all challenges.