Islamabad, December 28, 2015 (PPI-OT): Two Pakistani naval ships Shamsheer and Nasr headed by Commodore Bilal Abdul Nasir SI (M), Commander 25th Destroyer Squadron received a heart warming welcome upon arrival this morning at the Wusong naval jetty in Shanghai—the port of call in China, ahead of the Pakistan-China joint naval exercises to be held during this week, says a press release received from Beijing here today.
As the ships moored alongside the dock, the PLA navy band heralded welcoming tunes reaffirming bonds of mutual friendship. Chinese PLA Navy’s Senior Captain Wei Xiao Dong chief of staff at the Shanghai Naval Garrison received Commodore Bilal Abdul Nasir on the jetty during an impressive welcome ceremony that was attended by officials from PLA Navy and Pakistani naval officers and diplomats.
As the mission commander Cdre Bilal Nasir disembarked the ships flanked by Captain Rizwan Khalid of Shamsheer and Captain Saqib Ilyas of Nasr, he was greeted by PLA navy senior officers and also spoke to Chinese media present there, stating the main purpose of the visit as “participation in bilateral naval exercises involving ships, submarines, aircrafts, helicopters, and special operation forces,” adding that the exercises were very significant as they involved a variety of naval operations aiming to enhance interoperability and cohesion between the two navies. Such operations would also involve live surface and air gunnery firings, he added.
He said that several navy to navy joint collaboration initiatives had been undertaken by both sides such as manufacturing of ships Shamsheer and Nasr, PLA navy’s regular participation in AMAN exercises, Pakistan navy’s participation in PLA navy international fleet review, Pak-China joint anti piracy exercises, collaboration in maritime theatre, and support in Western Pacific Naval Symposium which showed deeper cooperation between the two navies and deep rooted friendship between the two countries.
The Pakistani naval delegation also called on Rear Admiral Shen Hao, the Deputy Commander of East Sea Fleet at the Shanghai Naval Garrison as well as Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government Shi Guanghui today. In the evening, a welcome reception for the Pakistani side was also hosted by PLA navy.
The vessels will be opened for some time to visitors. A friendly basketball match will also be played between the teams of both navies. The vessels had set sail for China from Pakistan on 23rd October 2015 and docked in Colombo, Male and Bander Seri before reaching Shanghai. Upon completion of the goodwill mission and joint exercise the ships will head further to ports of Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta.
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Haji Ahmed Malik
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