China has handed over two ships to the Pakistan Navy to safeguard the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes under the 46 billion US dollars China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a move likely to raise alarm in India. China handed over the two ships to the Pakistan Navy yesterday for joint security along the sea route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Dawn News reported.
The Gwadar port in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province has been developed under CPEC linking western China through Pakistan with the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The ships — named after two rivers Hingol and Basol near Gwadar — were received by Commander of the Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini.
Recently built in China and equipped with state-of-the-art guns, the ships will be part of Pakistan Navy and also used to protect the sea-lanes in the Arabian Sea.
A ceremony was held in Gwadar where Chinese officials, who reached Gwadar aboard the ships, handed them over to their Pakistani counterparts.
Director General of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency Rear Admiral Jamil Akhter, Commander West Commodore Mohammad Waris and top naval and civilian officials were present on the occasion.
“The Chinese ships have become part of the Pakistan Navy from today,” Vice Admiral Hussaini said, adding that the navy would become stronger with the induction of the ships.
He termed the induction of the Chinese ships into the Pakistan Navy as a “historic moment” and said the ships would be deployed for the security of the Gwadar port and the sea route of the CPEC.