KARACHI -  Two Pakistan Maritime Patrol Ships of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) namely PMSS HINGOL and BASOL arrived at Kuantan (Malaysia) on a goodwill visit, which will conclude today.

These ships were recently built and commissioned at Guangzhou (China) and handed over to PMSA on Dec 10 at an impressive ceremony in China attended by senior Pakistani and Chinese diplomatic, civil and military officials. The defence sectary of Pakistan was the chief guest on the occasion. Pakistani ships upon arrival at the Malaysian port were warmly welcomed by the Royal Malaysian Navy Ships at the anchorage. Thereafter, senior officers of the Royal Malaysian Navy and MMEA welcomed PMSA Ships at Naval Base in a graceful traditional ceremony. During the three-day stay at Kuantan, apart from bilateral meetings, various sports and other events, ships will also participate in a joint exercise with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The PMSA being the only law enforcement agency at sea in Pakistan is mandated for Maritime Law Enforcement functions in all maritime zones of the country. These functions include anti-smuggling, anti-narcotics and human trafficking. PMSA is also responsible for conducting Search and Rescue (SAR) operations covering a vast area up to 840 nautical miles from the Pakistani coast. In order to ensure effective law enforcement, particularly in the context of CPEC, PMSA is undergoing a major capacity enhancement programme aimed at induction of ships and aircrafts. PMSS HINGOL and BASOL are part of the same programme and two of these ships are also under construction at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

PMSA Ships regularly visit ports of friendly countries. The maiden voyage of PMSA Ships to Kuantan (Malaysia) is a testimony to great bonding and relations between the two nations in general and maritime law enforcement agencies in particular. A reception for dignitaries and senior officials of Malaysian and Pakistani community was held at Kuantan, Malaysia, on Dec 22. Her Royal Highness Queen Sultanah of Pahang along with Prince Fahad attended the ceremony as chief guest. A large number of Malaysian Armed Forces officials, high commissioner of Pakistan and Pakistani nationals were also present on this occasion.