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Pak seeks joint production of submarines, warships from China

Pakistan today for the first time sought high-end naval technology from China and joint production of submarines and big-warships to step-up defence cooperation, a move that may raise new concerns in India.

Visiting Pakistan Naval Chief Admiral Norman Bashir met Chinese defence minister General Liang Guanglie here and discussed steps to deepen the defence cooperation.

Ahead of his meeting with the Chinese minister, Bashir said Pakistan has identified construction of submarines and bigger warships by China for Pakistan navy besides modern weapons and equipments to further the cooperation after the successful construction of three naval frigates.

“We have the history of cooperation in the Navy with China like we have cooperation in all other fields,” Bashir was quoted by Pakistan’s official APP news agency while talking to media here at a reception hosted by Pakistan’s ambassador to China Masood Khan here yesterday.

He said Pakistan navy has already inducted three Frigates and the fourth one is being constructed with Chinese cooperation in Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works and hoped that like the three frigates, the construction of fourth ship in Karachi will be completed ahead of schedule.

“We will not stop here and this cooperation will continue,” said Bashir.

He said that during his meetings with Chinese side, he had identified areas including building of submarines, as so far we had not entered into joint construction of submarines.

This is one of areas Pakistan would now like to explore. Pakistan also like to go for construction of bigger ships with cooperation of China, he said.

These ships would be bigger than the current F-22 P Frigates, he added. There is lot of discussion that are taking place, he said adding “obviously we will have the ships and submarines which will be according to our requirements and specifications.”

“In the areas of weapons and sensors we are going beyond what we had,” he said.

It was not known whether the issue of building submarines and big ships figured during his meeting with Liang. China is trying its best to help flood-hit Pakistan and hopes people could rebuild their homes as soon as possible, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported Liang as saying.

He said China is providing within the realm of its capability support and assistance to Pakistan. China’s military has sent medical teams and rescue helicopters to Pakistan to help with relief efforts in flood-hit areas.

He said the China-Pakistan relationship was one of China’s most important bilateral ties.

Bashir said that the all-weather friendship between the two militaries has endured the test of time. Pakistan would like to deepen bilateral cooperation that benefits people of the two countries, he said.

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