Pak-Turkey Defence Co-operation In Emerging Geo-strategic Paradigm
By News Desk
Islamabad – In changing global political scenario, to highlight the significance of Pak-Turkey defense relations, MUSLIM Institute organized a seminar titled “Pak-Turkey defense co-operation in emerging geo-strategic paradigm” on 16th November, 2015 at National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad. Eminent scholars from Pakistan and Turkey participated in the seminar and expressed their views in this regard.
Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal (R) Kaleem Saadat presided over the session whereas Rear Admiral Mukhtar Ahmad Khan additional Secretary Ministry of Defence, Former Additional Secretary Ambassador (R) Ishtiaq Hussain Andrabi, Associate Dean NUST Dr. Tughral Yamin, Chairman MUSLIM Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, Research Associate MUSLIM Institute Mr. Tahir Mehmood, Senior Research Fellow USAK, Turkey, Dr. Altay Atli (via video link), Deputy and Former Member Parliament of Turkey Mr. Ali Şahin (Via video Link) spoke on the occasion.
Speakers on the occasion highlighted deep-rooted Pak-Turkey relations established through their their common faith, shared history, cultural and traditional bonds. They said that Pakistan and Turkey enjoyed a unique inter-state relations in terms of mutual trust, understanding and close cooperation. Our long-standing relations span over diverse areas – from political to economic, to defense and security, to education and culture. In terms of capabilities, the strong cooperative relationship in defense industries between the two countries is a major asset.
Pakistan and Turkey both were members of Baghdad Pact, they have joint naval and military exercises and now Turkey is providing 34 aircrafts and their spare parts free of cost to Pakistan. The past ten years or so have witnessed a profound improvement in this area. Frequent high-level visits, since last two decades, have strengthened the relations.
Turkey is working with Pakistan in the areas of armored vehicles, tanks, military communication systems and naval patrol boats. There is also the willingness on both sides to expand the relations in other vital areas such as aerospace industries. One year ago there was an agreement that police of both countries would cooperate as well. Turkey has a growing economy, and a focuses on improving its defense industry by producing its own technology in this dimension; there are great prospects for Turkey to cooperate with Pakistan and both the countries see one another not as a market where they can only sell the products, but long-term reliable partners for cooperation.
The two countries can extend their cooperation in Defense mainly in military training, joint exercises, Defense Industry cooperation, Defense production, Co-Defense production. Pakistan and Turkey work closely in the UN, OIC, ECO and other international and regional organizations. Both countries support each other on issues like Kashmir and Cyprus and have similar perspectives on regional and international issues. Turkey is one of Pakistan’s most consistent allies and the nature of relations is emotional-cum-ideological. It also supported Pakistan on the issue of Bangladesh.
Turkey’s Prime Minister has also reflected the reality by saying that Pakistan’s security is Turkey’s security. Both the countries are facing similar kind of security issues and need to redefine security strategy. China’s engagement in different projects in Pakistan can help overcome the security situation and Turkey also looks for good relations with China. It is possible, and indeed highly desirable, to further strengthen this already close relationship by realizing the untapped potential in various areas. Trilateral relations i.e. between Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan are also improving which are very crucial for Afghanistan’s peace process and stability. Qatar, Pakistan and Turkey defense cooperation is also under consideration.
Changing global scenario of the world politics has necessitated the deeper and strategic co-operation between Pakistan and Turkey especially in defense sector. The strong and cooperative relations between Pakistan and Turkey are also very important with regard to fostering cooperative relations among Muslim countries and to ensure peace in their regions.
Interactive session was also held at the end of seminar. Foreign delegates, professors and students of universities, scholars and researchers from different institutions, analysts and media personnel keenly participated in the seminar and asked thought-provoking questions.