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    Pakistan-Turkey bilateral, economic cooperation to touch new heights after PM historic visit: Experts 

    Pakistan-Turkey bilateral, economic cooperation to touch new heights after PM historic visit: Experts 

    By Fakhar Alam 

    PESHAWAR : International relations and diplomatic experts here Tuesday said Pakistan and Turkey were enjoying cordial relations since long, which would further deepen after the historic visit of Prime Minister, Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

    Manzoorul Haq, former Ambassador of Pakistan told APP that relations between the two-brotherly countries were historic,  based on mutual respect, love and deep-rooted and would touch new heights of friendship after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif three days official visit to Cairo.

    He said there was a vast scope of expanding the multi-dimensional cooperation between two countries especially in defence, social and economic sectors, foreign policy and public welfare. 

    He said Turkey was a powerful country with a strong army and economy that always supported the sovereignty of Pakistan.

    Turkey has helped Pakistan in developing robust institutions like Karachi Shipyard, which has been transformed into a profit-earning organization over the years.

    Manzoorul Haq, who had served Pakistan as top diplomat at Egypt and Saudia Arabia said the deep-rooted strategic cooperation between Islamabad-Kairo in all fields including shipbuilding, engineering, petroleum, solid waste management, social service, energy and transport would further boost up after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit with a high level delegation.

    He said Pakistan and Turkey’s relations have significantly improved under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

    “Pakistan is very close to the heart of Turkish President, who became the only foreign head of state to have addressed Pakistan’s parliament for the fourth time, which emphasized the history of enduring bilateral relationship and love for Pakistan.”

    During President Erdoğan’s visit to Pakistan in February 2021, he said the two countries signed a strategic economic framework agreement covering a broad spectrum of cooperation in science and technology, defense, tourism, education, and health. 

    “There is a commonality of views on all regional and international issues between the two countries,” he said and added that Turkey support for Kashmir issue was commendable.

    Dr Khursheed Ahmad, Professor International Relations Department, University of Peshawar said Turkey had always supported Pakistan in disasters whether it was 2005 devastated earthquake or 2010 flood.

    “Turkey was the first country whose medical teams comprises doctors, paramedics, surgeons and equipment reached to quake hit Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakthunkhwa and has provided prompt medical assistance to victims.”

    He said both states were founded by great political leaders, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, who thought deeply of Islam, constitutional rights, democracy, political empowerment of masses and governance etc. 

    Dr Khursheed said turkish companies should be persuaded to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC especially in oil, petroleum and energy sectors.

    He suggested exchange of people to people contacts and cultural visits besides increasing students visas to bring people of both countries further closer.

    Professor Dr. Muhammad Naeem, Economics Department, University of Swabi said there was a lot of expectations of the prime minister visit.

    He said there was a great scope of increasing trade volume between the two countries.

    Besides Pakistan‐​Turkey free trade agreement (FTA) intiative, he said the resumption of Pakistan‐​Iran‐​Turkey cargo train service help facilitate the movement of trade goods between these neighbours.

    He said the successful completion of ongoing projects with Turkey such as Trans‐​Afghan Railway project, CASA-1000, and Turkmenistan‐​Afghanistan‐​Pakistan‐​India (TAPI) gas pipeline could significantly help improve Pakistan connectivity with Western Asia, Gulf and Europe. 

    TAPI gas pipeline project, he said, is implementable even without India after establishment of peace in Afghanistan.

    He said Pakistan’s significance has been enhanced following CPEC and focus should be made to persuade and include Turkish companies in CPEC projects, especially those having experience in energy, communications and transit infrastructure for speedy growth and development of Pakistan.(APP)


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