ISLAMABAD - Minister of National Defence of Turkey, Hulusi Akar, yesterday said that his country stands in solidarity for Pakistan’s ‘principled’ stance on Kashmir issue and Azerbaijan conflict.

He was addressing a ceremony in connection with the keel-laying ceremony of the 2nd MILGEM Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW), said a press release received here.

The Turkish minister was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was attended by Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi. 

While addressing the ceremony, the chief guest termed the keel laying of PN MILGEM Corvette as a historic event for Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy, KS&EW and M/s ASFAT of Turkey.

He appreciated the commitment and dedication of M/s ASFAT (Turkish state-owned Defence Firm) and KS&EW for construction of technologically advanced Corvette. The chief guest also marked that Turkey stands in solidarity for Pakistan’s principled stance over Kashmir issue and Azerbaijan conflict.

Speaking on the occasion, Zubaida Jalal also appreciated the performance of Karachi Shipyard and underlined that indigenization is forefront of the country’s policy.

She underscored that it is convincing to see state-of-the-art warship is being built in Pakistan. 

The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be one of the most technologically advanced stealth surface platforms of Pakistan Navy Fleet. The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and modern sensors including surface to surface, surface to air missiles, anti-submarine weapons and Command & Control system.

Induction of these ships in Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the lethality of Pakistan Navy’s capabilities and contribute in maintaining peace, security and balance of power in Indian Ocean.

Earlier, MD KS&EW Rear Admiral Ather Saleem welcomed the distinguished guests and highlighted that Karachi Shipyard is fully cognizant and aligned with the goals set forth by the Government and Pakistan Navy to pursue self-reliance in defence shipbuilding industry.