KARACHI – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif arrived in Karachi on Tuesday to witness Pakistan Navy’s multinational exercise AMAN-17 in the Arabian Sea.

Multinational naval exercise ‘Aman 2017’ organised by Pakistan Army had been kicked off in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Karachi on Friday and today is the last day.

This is the fifth such exercise in which 37 countries, including Pakistan, took part. Nine of the visitors Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Russia participated with naval assets.

Expressing his satisfaction, the Prime Minister lauded the strenuous efforts of Pakistan Navy for the successful conduct of Exercise AMAN-17, which is a manifestation of Pakistan’s policy of constructive engagement with the comity of nations for peace and stability in the maritime commons.

He further added that presence of such large number of foreign navies is reflective of confidence of world navies on Pakistan. He also stated that with this state of operational readiness, Pakistan Navy is fully prepared and committed to ensure seaward defence and safeguard maritime interests of Pakistan.

What perturbs Pakistan’s quintessential rivals regarding the historic exercise is the fact that Russia participated in the exercise for the first time as Pakistan is making new friends around the world.

The premier had to chair a high-level meeting at the Sindh Governor House to discuss the overall situation in the province. He was also to be briefed on progress related to the Green Line Mass Transit, Lyari Expressway, Karachi Circular Railway and Karachi Water Supply Plant projects. However, he cut short his trip and called off engagements in the aftermath of the Lahore blast.

Nawaz Sharif would now be heading back to Lahore to preside over a meeting aimed at discussing the law and order situation in Punjab.

At least 13 people including senior police officers were killed while 73 others were left injured after a massive explosion near Punjab Assembly on Monday.

The bomb blast occurred at Chairing Cross, Mall Road, Lahore, killing DIG Traffic Capt (r) Ahmad Mubeen, SSP Mahmood Gondal and DSP Pervez Butt.

Funeral prayers for seven policemen including DIG Traffic Captain Ahmed Mobin and SSP Operations Nawaz Gondal martyred in the Lahore blast were offered at Police training centre Badian road on Tuesday morning.

The funeral prayer was attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah along with other senior military and police officials.