ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached Karachi on Friday to participate in the launching ceremony of Navy Warship fleet tanker. 

Speaking at the occasion the prime minister said, “I am pleased that the biggest tanker in Pakistan’s history has been constructed.”

The 17000-ton heavy fleet tanker has been built with the cooperation of Turkey. The design of the fleet tanker was prepared by Turkey, while built in Karachi Shipyard.

The Prime Minister said that he hoped many more of such fleets would be constructed with collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey. “Our friendship will withstand the tests of time,” he said.

He added that his vision was an economically empowered Pakistan.

The PM announced Rs100 million as bonus for the shipyard employees.

An earlier PM House statement said that the fleet tanker “will play an important role in catering to the needs of Pakistan Navy in meeting its logistic needs”.

“The fleet tanker is a true testament of our efforts towards indigenisation and self-reliance, and enhanced collaboration with our brothers in Turkey. The design of this ship by Turkey and its construction by Pakistan’s skilled manpower at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW), manifest an excellent combination to achieve indigenization through joint ventures with brotherly countries,” said the statement.

The PM House said the fleet tanker’s double-hull design would provide it with unrestricted entry into any port of the world.

“The design of PN Fleet Tanker (PNFT) is based on contemporary trends and is according to Bureau Veritas Rules for the Classification of Naval Ships.

“Pakistan and Turkey are time tested friends. Joint ventures like construction of this Fleet Tanker will further strengthen our mutual bonds characterised by faith, common heritage, shared civilisation, and commonality of interests. This initiative will certainly open more opportunities for further cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defence sector products,” it said.

The ship is being launched two months ahead of its schedule, it added.