Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi jointly cut the first metal plate of the first of the four MILGEM Ada class corvette at a graceful ceremony in Istanbul today. Vice President of Turkey Fuat Oktay, Minister for National Defence of Turkey Hulusi Akar, Chief of Turkish General Staff General Yaşar Guler, Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Adnan Ozbal, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, and other dignitaries attended the ceremony that also included induction of MILGEM class TCG Kinaliada into Turkish Navy.
While addressing guests at the ceremony, President Erdogan termed the brotherly Pakistan-Turkey relations as exemplary saying that great potential exists for collaboration in the defence production field. Referring to the Jammu & Kashmir dispute, President Erdogan said the world need to know about the sufferings of the Kashmiri people who are continuously braving curfew and blockade since 5th August. Equating Kashmir with Palestine, President Erdogan said over 8 million Kashmiris are living in an open-air prison in their own lands facing brutalities of the occupation forces with great courage. President Erdogan vowed to continue rising Kashmir issue and highlight the miseries of the people of Kashmir.
Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi in his opening speech termed this project as another testimony of the Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood. He updated the guests about the recent situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. He spoke about the toxic ideology of Hindutva in India and the threat it poses to regional and international peace. He said Indian brutalities have reached to new levels after the 5 August 2019 illegal actions of the Indian government, which are in contravention of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international law. Admiral Abbasi thanked President Erdogan for rising Kashmir issue in his address at the United National General Assembly in New York saying the people of Pakistan and Kashmir are indebted to Turkey for its steadfast support.
Addition of the stealthy MILGEM Ada class anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Pakistan Navy would further augment Pakistan Navy’s defence capability. Two corvettes will be built in Turkey while next two will be built in Pakistan through technology transfer. MILGEM Ada class are 99 meter in length with a displacement of 24,00 tonnes and a speed of 29 nautical miles.