Pakistan Navy Ship ASLAT with embarked Z9EC Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter called on Her Majesty Naval Base Portsmouth, United Kingdom; third Port of its Overseas Deployment to Mediterranean & European Countries.
The ongoing overseas deployment is aimed to strengthen friendly ties with Mediterranean & European Countries through Naval Diplomacy, thus contributing towards overall foreign policy objectives of the Government. Earlier the Ship had visited Port Aqaba, (Jordan) and Algiers, (Algeria).
Upon arrival at Port, PNSASLAT was warmly welcomed by Commander Naval Base Portsmouth, High Commissioner of Pakistan and Defence and Naval Advisor. Royal Marines Band played melodious welcoming tunes. Ship’s arrival was given wide electronic and press coverage.
PNS ASLAT Port Call to Portsmouth, United Kingdom was fully capitalized in terms of professional and social interactions with host country in general and Royal Navy in particular. PN Mission Commander, Commodore Muhammad Faisal Abbasi along with Commanding Officer PNS ASLAT held meetings with High Commissioner of UK to Pakistan, High Commissioner of Pakistan to UK, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Assistant Chief of Staff (Ships) Navy Command HQs and Commander Naval Base, Portsmouth. Moreover, Officers and CPOs/ Sailors also visited various Royal Navy training institutions including HMS Victory, the Flag Ship of 1st Sea Lord of the Royal Navy.
PN and RN enjoy a long standing relationship since independence of Pakistan. In the formative years, training facilities and technical advice rendered by RN laid solid foundation for the development of close ties between the two Navies. Close collaboration exists between the two Navies across multiple domains including training, technical cooperation, high level visits etc. Both countries also enjoy strong political, diplomatic, economic and military ties. Efforts of Pakistan Navy towards combating security threats in Maritime domain and professional competence of men were highly appreciated by their counterparts.
A reception was also hosted onboard PNS ASLAT at Portsmouth. A number of foreign diplomats, UK military Officers and notable Pakistani community attended the event. 2nd Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Anthony Radakin graced the occasion as Chief Guest. High Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr Rehman Chisti Member British Parliament, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Representatives of UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and UK MoD, Commander Portsmouth Flotilla and Defence Attaches of various countries were also present. As part of the visit, Ship was opened for Pakistani visitors and large number of Pakistani expatriates overwhelmingly turned up to visit the ship.
The visit carries special significance for both the Navies as maiden PN-RN bilateral Exercise in UK waters is also part of Ship’s visit programme. The Exercise focuses on Maritime Interdiction Operations and other warfare related exercises between PN and RN Ships to enhance interoperability and to mutually benefit from each other’s experiences. PNS ASLAT’s port visit to UK will go a long way in further strengthening bilateral relations between UK and Pakistan.