Islamabad, Aug 5: Claiming there were “all time high security threats,” Pakistan navy has moved away its main battleships out of its Mehran naval base in Karachi to the Makran coast in Balochistan.
The navy sent its warships away from its main base in Karachi to Ormara in Balochistan as a “precautionary measure” after the 16-hour terrorist siege of its main naval airbase, PNS Mehran, on May 22, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted its sources as saying.
The move has come two months after the commando-style gun and rocket-propelled grenade attacks on Mehran, that resulted in the destruction of two P3C Orion airplanes — which were key naval assets — and the killing of 10 security personnel.
Since that attack, the main battleships have been stationed in Ormara, sources told the daily.
The navy chief ordered the immediate movement of the entire fleet after the attack on PNS Mehran in view of the “all-time high security threats, which continue to loom even today”, an unnamed person familiar with the matter said.
The attack on the naval airbase was carried out just weeks after three navy buses were bombed in Karachi on April 26 and April 28.
However, another unnamed senior navy official said not the entire fleet but “definitely quite a few” warships had been moved to Ormara for security reasons.
Despite the movement, Karachi remains secure since there are other naval assets in place guarding the city, he said. A Pakistan Navy spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, saying the navy does not speak on “operational details”.