Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that the promotion of defense cooperation between Pakistan and Türkiye is for peace, not for war or aggression.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the third of four MILGEM corvette ships manufactured by Türkiye for the Pakistan Navy at the Istanbul Shipyard, Sharif thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of Türkiye for always standing behind his country in every difficult time.
"Pakistan and Türkiye are deeply engaged in promoting our defense capabilities for peace, not for war or aggression, and as they say, if you want to live in peace, you must be prepared for war," Sharif said.
"So this [MILGEM corvette ships] is not for aggression. This is for defense," he explained.
Sharif, along with President Erdogan, inaugurated the third ship named PNS Khyber, while other officials from both sides also attended the ceremony.
Pakistani premier praised Navy officers, engineers and workers and said you all done a great job building this wonderful ship.
Sharif called Türkiye his second home and said, "Today is another great day in historical relations and brotherhood between the two countries."
In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with Türkiye's state-run defense firm ASFAT.
According to the plan, two corvettes are to be built in Türkiye and the next two are to be built in Pakistan, which also involves technology transfer.
He also thanked the Turkish president and the people of Türkiye for helping and standing behind Pakistan during the recent devastating flood in Pakistan.
"Recently, when Pakistan was hit by one of the most devastating floods and Türkiye again was in the front line. It was so kind [ when president Erdogan] called me that night and said, Shehbaz Sharif, what can I do for you, and what Türkiye can do for Pakistan," he recalled.
Türkiye sent 72,000 tons of humanitarian assistance, including 15 Turkish military aircraft, 13 "goodness trains," and Turkish Red Crescent trucks, which brought humanitarian resistance for flood victims, he said.
Sharif also praised the Turkish president's efforts in the landmark Black Sea grain deal and said this deal saved the world from a great shortage of wheat and other commodities.
Pakistan naval chief says construction of MILGEM 'evidence' for mutual support
Speaking at the ceremony, Pakistan Naval chief Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi said that induction of these MILGEM corvette ships in their navy will further strengthen the maritime defense and deterrence capabilities.
"The induction of these ships in the Pakistan Navy will significantly strengthen our maritime defense and deterrence capabilities, which will ensure secure and stable seas for international trade and economy," he said.
He added that the presence of top leadership of both countries in the ceremony shows cordial relations between the two brotherly countries.
"Pakistan and Türkiye enjoy historical and special relations. Long-lasting and deep-rooted friendship has endured the test of time and rests firmly on the pillars of trust, deep respect and mutual support based on principles.
"The same is manifested in our military collaborations, as the construction of MILGEM corvette ships for the Pakistan navy is evidence," he added.
According to the naval chief, the first corvette ship for the Pakistan Navy, 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 this year.
Israr Tarin, Minister for Defense Production of Pakistan, also spoke on occasion.