Chief of Naval Staff, Cadets and Midshipmen,
I am happy to be with you to review your passing out parade and address you on this auspicious occasions. I congratulate you on your excellent turn out and drill.
I am particularly happy to see young officers from the brotherly countries of Saudi Arabia, Libya, Bahrein and Oman. It is our privilege and, indeed, duty to extend whatever help we can to our Muslim brethren. I am confident that, on completion of their training, they will be able to fulfill the missions assigned to them.
Your commanding officer has referred to my interest in the Navy, Although, I do confess that I have special feelings for the sea and sea-farers, but even if it was not so, I can assure you that my Government – unlike some of the previous ones – would not neglect the maritime requirements of our country the continued progress, prosperity and well being of our people depend almost entirely on the economic development plans on which we are embarked. To support and sustain these plans we must trade, and, as you well know, all our external trade will continue to be carried by shops. Therefore, increases envisaged in our sea-borne trade and merchant ships are indispensable elements of our economic development. Besides, the sea also provides the surest, safest and most economical communications between Pakistan and her friends and neighbours.
Our national interests, in peace and in war, rest heavily on the safety of sea-communications and uninterrupted flow of goods. The safeguard these interests, the need for a balanced and modern navy is undeniable.
Our Navy is small. While we are doing everything within our limited resources to enhance its capability, we must make up in quality and sophistication what we lack in quantity. For, in the final analysis, it is the quality of officers and men which is the single most important factor in any fighting service. It is not unusual for Muslims to fight against heavy odds. The people of Pakistan have been doing so ever since the inception for our country and even before.
To the officers passing out today, I would say that everything possible is being done and will be done to train and equip you for the task ahead. Your mission in life will be to man and use to the best advantage the sophisticated and modern equipment of the Navy that we are in the process of building. You will have to work continuously with devotion and single mindedness to accomplish your sacred mission. Your service and your country expects a great deal from you. I am sure that by the grace of Allah, you will not be found lacking.
I wish you all the very best of luck.