KARACHI: Pakistan Navy (PN) decommissioned its last Type-21 class ship PNS Tariq in a ceremony held at the PN Dockyard here on Saturday.
Before that the ship was acquired by PN from the Royal Navy. Its original name was HMS Ambuscade, which also has the distinction of participating in the Falkland War.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was the chief guest. Upon arrival on board PNS Tariq he was received by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Amjad Khan Niazi.
Speaking at the decommissioning ceremony, Mr Bhutto-Zardari acknowledged the meritorious service of the ship towards the defence of the motherland over the last three decades. He was impressed by the daring search and rescue mission undertaken by PNS Tariq in Maldives during the Indian Ocean tsunami when it rescued 377 precious lives of tourists of various nationalities, a feat acknowledged at the international level.
Bilawal praises move to send back PNS Tariq to UK where it will be converted into a museum ship
Paying rich tributes to the crew for maintaining the ship in optimum operational state till the very end, the foreign minister also appreciated the planned disposal of the ship as a static museum exhibit in the United Kingdom where it will be converted into a museum ship on the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland to showcase the maritime heritage of the Royal Navy as well as the Pakistan Navy.
The navy said that PNS Tariq was inducted in its fleet in 1993 in a ceremony graced by then prime minister Benazir Bhutto as the chief guest and it was finally decommissioned by her son after 30 years of service. During almost three decades of illustrious service in Pakistan Navy, the ship logged about 20,000 hours at sea and travelled more than one million nautical miles distance.
Before the formal phasing out of the iconic ship, the navy had on Aug 2 launched the indigenously built MILGEM Class ship, bearing the same name ‘Tariq’ as a milestone achievement to carry-on the legacy of the valiant ship.
The ceremony was also attended by civil and military dignitaries including ex-commanding officers and commissioning crew of PNS Tariq.
Published in Dawn, Aug 6th, 2023