At an invitation extended by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Pakistan Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila arrived in Sri Lanka on 12th December 2013 on a three-day official visit.
He was received by Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera at the Bandaranaike International Airport on arrival. The Pakistan Navy Chief is accompanied by his spouse, Mrs. Ghazala Asif Sandila, President of the Pakistan Navy Women Association.
Admiral Sandila called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage at the Naval Headquarters on 13th December 2013. He was accorded a Guard of Honour on arrival and warmly welcomed by the Commander of the Navy who introduced him to the members of the SLN Board of Management. Principal Secretary to the Pakistan Chief of the Naval Staff, Commodore Mirza Foad Amin Baig and Defence Advisor to the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka, Colonel Sheharyar Parvez Butt were also present on the occasion.
They held cordial discussions on a range of issues that were of bilateral importance, strengthening the long existing relations between the two friendly Navies. Mementos were also exchanged to mark the occasion.
Admiral Sandila is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on the Secretary of Defence, Chief of Defense Staff, Army and Air Force Commanders during his stay in Sri Lanka.
Admiral Mohommad Asif Sandila joined the Pakistan Navy in 1972. After initial training at the Pakistan Naval Academy, he was selected for training at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth (UK). He was commissioned in the Operations Branch in June 1975.
Admiral Sandila is a graduate of the Naval Command and Staff College, Indonesia and the National Defense College, Islamabad. He holds a master degree in War Studies from the Quaid-e-Azam University.
The Admiral’s command experience includes Commander Pakistan Fleet, Commander Logistics and Director General Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. Before elevation to flag rank he commanded the 25th Destroyer Squadron, PNS BADAR and shore establishment, PNS HAIDER. He was serving as Chief of Staff at the Naval Headquarters, Islamabad until his promotion to the rank of Admiral and appointment as Chief of the Naval Staff on 7th Oct 2011.
Admiral Sandila is a recipient of the award of Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) and “CHEVALIER DE L’ ORDER NATIONAL DU MERITE” by the French Government for the rescue of French and other nationals in the Maldives during the Tsunami in December 2004. He was conferred “NISHAAN MULEEGE SHARAFGE IZZAIY” by the President of the Maldives for his timely contribution to save humanity during the Tsunami. In acknowledgement of the Admiral’s distinguished contribution towards training and operational support extended to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, he has been awarded the King Abdul Aziz Medal (Class Excellent) by the Royal Saudi Government. Admiral Sandila has also been awarded “The Legion of Merit of the Turkish Armed Forces” by the Turkish Government.
Press Release, December 13, 2013; Image: Sri Lanka Navy