Nawaz Sharif
Nawaz SharifReuters

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday inaugurated the country's largest naval warship tanker weighing around 17,000 tonnes in Karachi. Sharif said that Pakistan is committed to become self-reliant in defence production and to protect its maritime assets.

The Navy fleet tanker was designed by Turkish firm Savunma Teknologiler Muhendisilik under the ministry of defence production. It was constructed by the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering works with Turkish collaboration. 

"The project will further strengthen cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. The tanker was a gift to Pakistan on its 70th Independence Day," Sharif said, reported PTI.

He added that the Pakistan government would continue to support indigenisation in all the technological spheres in the country and that the construction of such a fleet would play a crucial role in serving the navy's logistic requirements.

I congratulate the navy and the Karachi Shipyard for launching the tanker ahead of schedule. The ongoing development programs of the government including China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stipulate the aim to achieve maximum output in terms of regional trade and trans-shipment with Gwadar as the focal point," Sharif added. 

The PM also announced a Rs. 100 million bonus for employees of the Karachi Shipyard for achieving the feat. He stated that the country was blessed with a long coastline and a strategic gulf location which has assisted it with extensive trade and maritime activities that are being carried out at two major seaports situated in Karachi.