USS Mason's visit to Karachi highlights ongoing US-Pakistani naval co-operation

By Zia Ur Rehman

KARACHI -- The visit of the USS Mason to Karachi earlier this month marked the ongoing partnership between the US Navy and Pakistan.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer on June 13 concluded its visit to Karachi after being received with traditional warmth and cordiality, the Daily Times reported.

Officials from both countries expressed hope that the ship's visit will strengthen relations between both the navies.

"Both navies are committed to setting up maritime security in the region and free trade movement in the sea, and this visit will be useful to strengthen and stablise the relations between both countries," said a spokesperson for the Pakistani navy.

The ship's visit served to enhance the inter-operability of US and Pakistani naval forces, which work together on the multi-national Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), said a statement from the US embassy in Islamabad.

"CTF 150's goal is to disrupt terrorist organisations and their related illegal activities in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman. Since Pakistan assumed command of CTF 150 from Canada in April 2019, the task force has interdicted several million dollars' worth of illegal narcotics," said the statement.

The USS Mason's visit coincided with that of Vice Adm. Jim Malloy, the commander of US Naval Forces Central Command.

Malloy visited Islamabad and Karachi and met with Chief of Naval Staff Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and other Pakistani naval officers to discuss military-to-military relations and collaboration in the region, said the statement.

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