Pakistan Navy Ship Zulfiqar drops anchor in Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg Aug 5, 2021: According to a DW Urdu News report by Irfan Aftab, the Pakistan Navy Ship Zulfiqar dropped anchor in the German port of Hamburg on the 1st of August this year.
PNS Zulfiquar (FFG-251) is the lead ship of the F-22P Zulfiquar-class guided missile frigates since 2009.
She was officially laid down on 24 July 2007 and was launched on 7 April 2008 to complete several sea trials in China. She is the lead ship of her class and was acquired by the Pakistan Navy on 30 July 2009.
On 12 September 2009, she arrived and reported to her base, Naval Base Karachi and commissioned in the Navy.
The ship routinely patrols Pakistan’s waters off the coast of the Arabian Sea, mainly there to ensure the safety of the trading and shipping activities occurring off and around the Pakistani coast line. It also ensures Pakistan’s safety along its shoreline in the event of a terrorist presence.
PNS Zulfiqar is capable of launching land to land and land to air missiles. It is also equipped with torpedoes to destroy submarines and can hold a crew of up to 240.
Following her commissioning, Zulfiquar has been deployed to witnessed actions in the War on terror in Afghanistan and the piracy off the Somalian coast, when she was deployed to lead military operations to provide rescue and sealift of the personnel of MV Suez in 2011.
On 6 September 2014, a serious incident took place involving Zulfiquar when the Indian Subcontinent branch of Al-Qaeda attempted to take control of the vessel after penetrating the Naval Base Karachi. The Navy Special Services group, the Navy SEAL teams and 1st Marines responded by engaging the attackers and succeeded in capturing four assailants alive who were locked away in the ship’s compartment. The motive appeared that the attackers, still with active duty with the Navy who had been led by a sub-lieutenent, wanted to engage the US Navy’s fleet in the Indian Ocean with its cruise and anto ship missile system targeting the U.S. Navy.
The Navy SEAL Teams took the team of ten militants including killing four navy officers who were engaging in taking over the vessel. Initial reports indicated that the four officers who were involved but who did not participate in the attack were later apprehended by the Naval Police in Karachi.
On 13 September 2014, the Navy confirmed to detaining 17 naval personnel including three key naval officers who were trying to defect to Afghanistan through Mastung in Balochistan in Pakistan. The Navy JAG Corps reportedly announced the verdict on 25 March 2016 with five naval officers and apprehended naval personnel awarded death penalty for their involvement. The details of the incident were not available immediately.
Last week, Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Zulfiqar returned to operational deployment after a successful visit to Saint Petersburg, Russia for participating in the 325th Russian Navy Day Parade.
Following the trip to Russia, the ship is at present anchored at Germany’s Hamburg port. According to Mission Commander PNS, Commodore Syed Rizwan Khaled, the ship and its crew departed from Karachi on the 10th of June this year and after dropping anchor at various ports, is now in Hamburg. The ship’s presence is part of a bid to mark the 70th anniversary of Pakistan and Germany’s diplomatic relations.
Prior to this, in 2018, Pakistan Navy Ship ASLAT “Aslat” (F-22P) has also spent time at Hamburg port Germany as part of an overseas deployment to Mediterranean and European countries. This was the first-ever visit by a Pakistan Navy Ship to Germany.
PN Ship is part of a series of four identical units. PN ASLAT main task is air defence and maritime surveillance at Sea. Furthermore, PNS “Aslat” was deployed in ‘Operation “Enduring Freedom’. At the time, as per the statements of Pakistan Navy, “it is for the first time that a Pakistan Navy Missile ship enters into the Baltic waters and it will stay in Germany as a Goodwill visit.”
The spokesperson for the Hamburg Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Jeurgen Bretmaan says Pakistan and Germany have deep collaboration in naval defense initiatives and the Naval academy at Hamburg has trained several officers in the Pakistan Navy.
Bretmann says, “Germany and Pakistan’s collaboration in the training department continues, Pakistani officers also train in the Hamburg marine simulation center and there are points of technical discussions on many levels.
A celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of Pakistan and Germany’s diplomatic relations was also held on the deck of the ship whilst in Hamburg. The event was marked by the presence of the Pakistan ambassador to Germany, Dr. Muhammad Faisal speech lauding the participation of the German navy’s presence in the peace exercises, Aman21 organized by the Pakistan Navy.
Faisal also made the announcement that in September, Germany’s war ship Bayern will drop anchor in Karachi port, marking a new chapter in the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Germany.
Speaking to press on the occasion, Faisal also mentioned how the diplomatic relations between the two countries were evolving in to a new realm and how despite the pandemic, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan visited Germany after 8 or 9 years and also the visit of the Pakistan army chief to Germany and the visit of German foreign minister to Pakistan. He remarked upon the positive reciprocity of friendly relations between the two countries.
PNS Zulfiqar deployed on operational activities visited Jordan, Tunis, Russia, UK has now reached Germany and its next stop is Algiers and Saudi Arabia after which in September it will return to Pakistan.
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