Karachi, August 5, 2023 – In a poignant yet impressive ceremony held at the PN Dockyard in Karachi, the Pakistan Navy bid a heartfelt farewell to its last Type-21 Class Ship, the PNS TARIQ, which had dutifully served the nation for an impressive span of 30 years. Gracing the event as the Chief Guest was Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, welcomed the Chief Guest aboard the historic vessel.
During the decommissioning ceremony, the Chief Guest paid tribute to the PNS TARIQ’s commendable service in safeguarding the nation’s interests over the past three decades. He particularly highlighted the vessel’s remarkable Search & Rescue Mission during the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2005, where the PNS TARIQ gallantly rescued 377 tourists from various nationalities.
This heroic feat garnered international recognition and admiration. The Chief Guest lauded the dedication of the ship’s crew for maintaining the vessel in optimal operational condition until its final moments. He also commended the strategic decision to transform the ship into a static museum exhibit in the UK, showcasing both the maritime heritage of the Royal Navy and Pakistan Navy.
Inducted into the Pakistan Navy in 1993, the PNS TARIQ has served the nation with honor and distinction. It was initially commissioned by the late Prime Minister, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and it is fitting that her son took part in its decommissioning after three decades of faithful service. Throughout its illustrious journey spanning nearly three decades, the ship has logged an impressive twenty thousand hours at sea, traversing over one million nautical miles.
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Just prior to the formal retirement of this iconic ship, the Pakistan Navy achieved a significant milestone by launching the indigenous MILGEM Class ship, bearing the same revered name ‘TARIQ.’ This undertaking stands as a testament to carrying forward the legacy of the valiant PNS TARIQ.
The ceremony was graced by the presence of esteemed civilian and military dignitaries, including former commanding officers and members of the commissioning crew of the PNS TARIQ.