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Today's Pakistan more democratic, stable: Nawaz

29 December, 2013

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KARACHI: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that today's Pakistan is more democratic, strong and stable.

He expressed these views while addressing the 100th Midshipmen Commissioning and 9th SSC Class passing-out parade of the Pakistan Navy here on Saturday.

He said that the Pakistan Navy would be equipped with modern weaponry.

He said that the country's maritime defence was impregnable and today the Pakistan Navy was a capable and professional force. He said that he was fully convinced that the navy would prove its mettle in safeguarding the maritime integrity of the country. He said sound policies to counter external as well as internal threats were bringing results.

The prime minister said, "I assure you that the nation stands firmly behind you and shall ensure that the Pakistan Navy is equipped with the latest weaponry and technology to safeguard national frontiers. The recent induction of indigenously made frigates, fast attack surface-to-surface missile capacity and the acquisition of six modified P3C aircraft with the latest avionics sensors into the Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the combat potential of the Pakistan Navy fleet".

The prime minister said that the Pakistan Navy had a proud history and had performed with excellence whether it was in Operation Dwarka in the 1965 war, the submarine operation of 1971 or supporting the civilian governments in times of natural calamities like earthquakes and floods.

The prime minister said that it gave him immense pleasure to review the passing-out parade at the Pakistan Naval Academy. He complimented all those officers and staff who over the years had played their part in making this national institution a centre of excellence among regional maritime training institutes.

The prime minister stated that the Pakistan Naval Academy had come a long way since its inception in 1970. The wide range of subjects related to marine sciences being taught in the academy spoke volumes about the standards being set by the academy, he added. "The ISO certification of the academy is proof in itself of the quality education being imparted to the young cadets in this alma mater," he said.

The prime minister expressed his confidence that in the coming years the Pakistan Naval Academy would achieve even more successes by the grace of God. "Today is indeed the most cherished occasion in your lives as from now on you join the ranks of those who are safeguarding the maritime frontiers of our motherland and protecting its ideological integrity and freedom," he added.

Nawaz Sharif said that the Pakistan Navy was a unique force in the sense that it not only commanded the country's maritime frontiers but had also been trained to counter the enemies on the ground as well as in the air. "This is a significant task to accomplish and I congratulate you, your parents and the faculty of the Pakistan Naval Academy for extending an invaluable contribution in your remarkable upbringing and grooming as responsible officers," he added.

Nawaz Sharif pointed out that leadership qualities were very important in the making of an efficient defence officer. "A true leader leads from the front and sets an example for others. This earns the loyalty of those who follow. Always remember a leader is one who is not only mentally and physically tough but one who is open to new ideas and can be calm and composed in difficult situations and most importantly one who can have the trust of those whom he leads. I encourage you to do what it takes to develop this trust and confidence and instil a deep spirit of unity of purpose in your team. During the discharge of your duties as officers in various capacities always ensure that the interests of the state remain your prime goal. Never let your personal feelings stand in the way," he said and added, "You have strong examples to follow and I am confident that you shall make the nation proud just like your seniors have in the past".

The prime minister said that he was pleased to know that midshipmen from brotherly countries were also in the parade today and wished them well adding the training they had received here would not only help them in professionally serving their nations but would also be a reminder of the long lasting friendship these countries mutually enjoy. He said that he was confident that the bonds of friendship would augment between these nations.

Nawaz Sharif also lauded the efforts put in for this spectacular day and congratulated all the young cadets and midshipmen on the successful completion of training and wished them an exciting challenging and rewarding career ahead. He particularly congratulated Midshipman Roheel Shahzad for winning the coveted Sword of Honour and Foxl Squadron for winning the Proficiency Banner. He also wished the officers of the academy and those connected with it all the best in the endeavour to scale greater heights of excellence and commitment to national goals and cherished values.

Earlier, the prime minister reviewed the parade. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid were also present on the occasion.

On the occasion, the prime minister also gave away prizes to the cadets who excelled. Midshipman Roheel Shahzad was awarded the Sword of Honour for his overall best performance. Saud-ur-Rehman and Naeem Kamil Ahmed of Sudan were conferred Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Naval Staff gold medals. Cadet Bilal Arsalan and Lt Zeeshan Zafar received Commandant and Quaid-i-Azam gold medals respectively. Academy Dirk was presented to Salman Khattak and the proficiency banner was awarded to Foxl Squadron for its overall best performance. Commandant of the Pakistan Naval Academy Commodore Zahid Ilyas presented the welcome address. He said, "Today is a historic day in the annals of the Pakistan Naval Academy as we are holding the 100th passing-out parade.

Commodore Zahid particularly thanked the prime minister for reviewing the parade and making the occasion momentous. He pointed out that the PNA held a prominent place among the other academies in the region. He informed that the PNA was not only the alma mater of the officers of the Pakistan Navy but also for hundreds of officers of brotherly countries. He said that the PNA had the singular distinction that the present serving chiefs of naval staff of three brotherly countries — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar — were PNA graduates.

It was announced that 66 midshipmen, including nine from the brotherly countries of Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan and Yemen, had successfully qualified for the grant of commission today. The 9th batch of Short Service Commissioning comprising 35 cadets was also part of the commissioning parade.


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