Islamabad: Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila on Friday took over as the new chief of the Pakistan Navy, saying he was committed to maintaining a high level of operational preparedness to contend with a "complex and challenging" security environment.

Sandila, 57, took over from Admiral Noman Bashir during a change of command ceremony at the PNS Zafar naval complex in Islamabad.

He said he would focus on maintaining a high level of operational preparedness at all times.

"The contemporary security environment is complex and challenging and our responsibilities, both at sea and ashore, have increased manifold. Therefore, it is our prime duty to discharge these responsibilities to the fullest satisfaction of the government and the people of Pakistan," he said.

Sandila said he would work for synergy and seamless integration with the other services in all important and operational matters.

"The navy will go an extra mile for the collective good of the services and evolving joint strategies for employment and development of combat potential," he said.

“The Pakistan Navy will continue cooperating with friendly countries to maintain a lawful order at sea", he said.

In his farewell address, Admiral Bashir said the Pakistan Navy has emerged as an "effective instrument of national power and capable of showing presence in our area of interest.

In order to meet challenges in the emerging environment, it is imperative for the Pakistan Navy to "checkmate any potential conflict scenarios through pragmatic, yet effective employment and deployment strategies", he said.

The outgoing and newly appointed naval chiefs were presented a guard of honour at the ceremony.

Bashir formally handed over command by presenting a traditional scroll to Sandila.