Pakistan-Turkey Relations: Commonality and Convergence of Interest
By News Desk
MUSLIM Institute organized a webinar “Pakistan-Turkey Relations: Opportunities to Enhance Cooperation”. Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan H. E. Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey H. E. Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Vice Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique (Retd), Chairman MUSLIM Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali, Dr. Shabana Fayyaz, Prof. Dr. Zameer Awan, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Uysal from Turkey and Ambassador (R) Arif Kamal addressed the august audience.
Speakers observed that Pakistan and Turkey share natural friendship as well as common socio-cultural traditions. Both countries have deep ties in Muslims perspective which go back to hundreds of years. Turkey always remembers the support extended during WWI by the Muslims of the Subcontinent, the present day Pakistan. Khilafat movement is another glaring example that history has ever presented of the strong bond between people of both countries.
Both countries are facing challenges of 21st Century. Turkey has always regarded historical support from Pakistan on Cyprus issue in high esteem. On East Mediterranean and Kashmir, Pakistan and Turkey have principle stance for just resolution of the issues. Recently on Azerbaijan issue, both the countries have supported Azerbaijan’s principle stance and opposed Armenian aggression.
Similarly on Palestine issue, both the countries oppose and condemn Israeli aggression and illegal occupation. In the realist world, such strong relation of brotherhood is example of its own kind. Both countries have same interest in Afghanistan and are on same page regarding sustainable peace in Afghanistan. We have trilateral mechanism to bring peace and security in Afghanistan.
One current issue is Islamophobia which has been discussed by Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia in order to explore joints mechanisms to deal with the issue. We should work together to tackle Islamophobia and xenophobia and the eradication of terrorism. Pakistan can benefit from Turkey to enrich economy through private sector and joint production that allows exports.
Speakers highlighted that Pakistan and Turkey have strong bond based on Sufism. We should work to protect our youth from radical ideas. In IT and education sector, there are huge opportunities that Pakistan can learn from Turkish experience. Pakistan can learn a lot from Turkey’s advanced education and health system. Pakistan, a big market of 200 million people and rich in natural resources, offers enormous opportunities to Turkey in trade and commerce.
Turkey’s halal food processing mechanism is another area that can be explored as after Covid-19, even Non-Muslims would prefer using halal food. Tourism and construction industry carry enormous potential for mutual economic cooperation. Pakistan has prestigious sea port of Gawadar where both countries should take on joint ventures.
During a span of 5 to 7 years, Pakistan and Turkey singed seventy agreements. Both countries want to see active and effective role of OIC in resolution of issues being faced by the Muslim world. Leadership on both sides is bringing economy and trade on progress. The more we interact, more solidarity we can achieve. We are one nation, one people with two flags. There is commonality and convergence of interest. We need to translate ideas into reality and strengthen partnership.