Pakistan Navy’s ship PNS ZULFIQUAR (F-22P Frigate) reached Colombo on Tuesday to participate in the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Pakistan’s Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir has also arrived today in Colombo to attend the celebrations. During his visit the Chief of the Naval Staff of Pakistan will also meet President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa and other important personalities.
On arrival at Colombo the Ship’s band, dressed up in traditional naval uniform, presented melodious tunes as it sailed into Colombo Harbour. The crew will participate in various events planned during the stay in Colombo, including Presidential Fleet Review, International Band Fiesta and Sailing Regatta.
The Admiral has had the privilege of commanding two aviation squadrons; two warships (frigate & corvette); and Pakistan Naval Aviation. The Admiral has also had the coveted honour of commanding the Pakistan fleet. He was serving as commander Karachi until his promotion to the rank of Admiral and appointment as Chief of the naval Staff on 7 October 2008.
Admiral Noman Bashir is a graduate of Joint Services Staff College, Armed forces War College at National Defence University and Royal College of Defence Studies, UK. He is a recipient of Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military), Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military). In acknowledgement of Admiral’s distinguished contribution towards training and operational support extended to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, he has been awarded King Abdul Aziz Medal (Class Excellent) by the Royal Saudi Government. Also recognising Pakistan navy’s active engagements with international navies as part of cooperative maritime security initiatives and consistent participation in the counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations at sea, the Admiral has been conferred upon “Legion of Merit” award by the US Government.PNS ZULFIQUAR is the pioneer ship of the SWORD Class, F-22P Frigate Project. It is the third ship, named ZULFIQUAR after the sword of Hazrat Ali. The steel cutting ceremony of the ship was held on 10 October 2006. The keel was laid on 24 July 2007 and the ship was subsequently launched on 7 April 2008 for sea trails. Upon successful completion of the trials and missiles/weapons firing, the ship was commissioned on 30 July 2009, in China, in an impressive ceremony graced by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir NI(M). Upon arrival in Pakistan, the ship was formally inducted into the Pakistan Navy Fleet on 19 September 2009.
The ship is fitted with state of the art weapons and sensors and carries a Z9EC helicopter. The F-22P Project encompasses construction of 3 frigates in China and also envisages the complete transfer of technology for the construction of fourth ship at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. The development of the frigate project is a landmark achievement for PN towards self reliance and indigenisation.
Sri Lanka is an important regional country and Pakistan Navy regards cooperation with SLN (Sri Lanka Navy) as of paramount importance. Pakistan Navy enjoys brotherly and cordial relations with Sri Lanka Navy in all professional fields and PNS ZULFIQUAR is in Colombo to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations.
The ship also visited Colombo earlier during her maiden voyage from Shanghai in September 2009. The visit will open new avenues of bilateral cooperation between the two friendly navies and garner the existing strong bonds of friendship between the two countries.