No greater honour than serving country: outgoing navy chief

KARACHI: Outgoing chief of the navy staff Admiral Zakaullah has said on his farewell address on Saturday that there is no greater honour than to have been associated with such a noble profession.

While addressing the ceremony organised at PNS Zafar, he thanked Almighty Allah to have bestowed upon him the sacred onus of commanding Pakistan Navy for the defence of mother land.

The Admiral acknowledged that there was no greater privilege and honour for him than to have been associated with such a noble profession and an array of dauntless, devoted and capable officers and men.

The outgoing Naval Chief congratulated Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi for assuming the command of Pakistan Navy and expressed his heartiest felicitations

The Admiral added that when he took over the Command of Pakistan Navy three years ago, it was his ardent desire to command a multi-dimensional Naval Force, which maintains the highest level of operational preparedness, fully capable of defending the sea frontiers and safeguarding maritime interests in consonance with national security aspirations.

He said that today, he stood affirmed that owing to strenuous hard-work of officers and men, Pakistan Navy has transformed into one of the most professional forces in the world.

Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah impressed upon the fact that the contemporary complex and challenging security environment in the region entails that we must have coherent and lucid perception of the security calculus.

Pakistan Armed Forces are an impregnable defence against all those elements which resort to nefarious designs against our country. While highlighting the socio-economic importance of CPEC and Gwadar port for the country, the outgoing Naval Chief underscored that viability and assured dividends of CPEC related projects will augment mutual cooperation with other regional countries besides ushering economic stability in the region.

Mohammad Zakaullah also said that while relinquishing the command of Pakistan Navy, he felt pride for having dedicated his life and services for an excellent force. He thanked Govt of Pakistan for entrusting confidence and rendering support and cooperation in discharging his duties. The Admiral also expressed gratitude for Principal Staff Officers, NHQ staff, Field Commands and Navy civilians for extending steadfast support and arduous devotion.

Earlier, on their arrival at the venue, the outgoing and newly appointed Naval Chiefs were presented with Guard of Honour. Later, Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah formally handed over the command of Pakistan Navy by presenting the traditional scroll to Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi.

Later, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi laid floral wreath at Shuhada monument at Naval Headquarters and offered Fateha. Upon arrival at Naval Headquarters, a smartly turned out contingent clad in ceremonial dress presented him the Guard of Honour.

Newly sworn in, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in June 1981. The officer undertook initial training at Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, UK. On commissioning, he won the coveted Sword of Honour from Pakistan Naval Academy. During his distinguished career, the Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi attained vast experience of both command and staff appointments.

His command appointments include Command of Surface ships, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Commander 25th Destroyer Squadron, DG Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, Commander Coast, Commander Logistics, Commander Pakistan Fleet and Command of Multi-National Combined Task Force 150 at HQ NAVCENT Bahrain.

His key staff appointments include Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans), Chief Inspector (Navy), Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) and Chief of Staff at Naval Headquarters.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi is a graduate of National Defence University Islamabad and Royal Australian Navy Staff College. In recognition of his meritorious services, the Admiral has been awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military).

The change of command ceremony was attended by a large number of civil & military dignitaries, former Naval Chiefs, media representatives, CPOs/Sailors and Navy civilians.