Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have jointly inaugurated a corvette warship built by Turkiye for the Pakistani Navy under a strategic cooperation project, a media report said on Saturday.
Sharif, who along with a delegation of ministers and officials is on a two-day visit to Turkiye at the invitation of the Turkish President, during the inauguration on Friday said that the launch of PNS Khyber represents the deepening of defence cooperation between the two nations, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
“It was high time that Pakistan and Turkiye transform their ties into a strategic partnership as the world was envious of the relationship between two brotherly countries,” Sharif said during the inauguration of PNS Khyber at the Istanbul shipyard.
He said that the launch of the ship manifested the deep bilateral engagement between the two countries in defence cooperation.
PNS Khyber is third of the four corvette ships that has been built by Turkiye for the Pakistani Navy under a joint cooperation project.
Under the project, Turkiye was tasked to build four corvette warships for the Pakistan Navy-- two in Istanbul and two in Karachi.
The first corvette warship for the Pakistan Navy known as PNS Babar was launched in Istanbul in August 2021 while the foundation stone for the second ship PNS Badr was laid in Karachi in May 2022, another report on the inauguration ceremony by the Dawn newspaper said.
The warships have been built by ASFAT inc, a Turkish state-owned defence contractor firm.
Sharif during the inauguration informed that the fourth warship would be delivered in February 2025.
Sharif on the occasion called for the need to enhance trade between Pakistan and Turkiye.
He also made a pitch to Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in a 10,000-megawatt solar power project for Pakistan, the report said.