At the invitation of the President of Republic of Turkey, H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay first official visit to Turkey on 3-4 January 2019. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi; Minister for Planning, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar; and Adviser to the Prime Minister Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood. During the visit, the Prime Minister will meet the President of Turkey and discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries. Views pertaining to regional and international situation will also be exchanged. The Prime Minister of Pakistan will also address a business forum, and hold several meetings with Turkish businessmen and potential investors during his stay at Ankara.
Pak-Turk relations enjoys very cordial friendship and relation goes date back generations before the establishment of the two states, more precisely during the Turkish War of Independence when the Muslims of the northwestern British Raj sent financial aid to the declining Ottoman Empire, which was followed by the formation of the Turkish Republic and the Independence of Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan has enjoyed a positive perception in Turkey and amongst Turks for many decades. Pakistan and Turkey enjoy close cultural, historical and military relations which are now expanding into deepening economic relations as both countries seek to develop their economies.
In fact Turkey and Pakistan has many things in common like, both were close ally to US during the cold war era and signatory to CTO (Central Treaty Organization), RDA (Regional Development alliance, and many other International treaties and platforms. Both are tied with strong religious and cultural bonds. We are on the same page on many international and regional issues, especially possesses same views on Afghanistan. Turkey is supporting Pakistan on Kashmir issue, NSG and many other important issues. Both are Muslim countries and supporting unity among Muslim Ummah. In fact, there are around 2 billion Muslims all over the world, around 57 Muslim countries, around 60% of the natural resources of the world, especially Energy (Oil and Gas), but politically divided, unstable and oppressed. Pakistan and Turkey jointly can lead the Muslim world. Struggling for better economy and independence from outside interference. Geopolitics has forced both countries to re-align themselves according to emerging situation in the region and globally. Both nations have been victim of terrorism and intolerance and insecurity. Both were ruled by Military many times in the history.
However, Turkey has struggled hard and has achieved somehow progress like in social sector, and economic sector. Turkey has overcame terrorism to a much greater extent, social sector developed rapidly. Economy is also well stable. Tourism and Agriculture are major sectors, where Turkey has edge. Politically, there is a lesson to be learned by Pakistan from Turkey experience. After having several years under military rule, the politicians have learned to win the hearts and minds of people. They delivered upto satisfaction of its people whenever the civilian were in Government. As a result, based on good governance by politicians, people opposed military coup attempt in 2016, when civilian laid down on streets in front of Military Tanks and made the coup attempt failed.
While, in Pakistan, after several Marshal Laws, civilian rule was restored, but our politicians have not availed that opportunity to prove supremacy of civilian rule, but kept engaged in corruption and nepotism. All civilian governments in the recent past have failed to solve the problems of common man and could not gained support from masses. Even, today, common man thinks, Martial Law is much better for common man’s welfare and if there is any military intervention, common citizen may welcome.
Prime Minister Imran Khan is the third most popular leader in the history of Pakistan, after Quad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the nation and former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. PM Imran Khan has privilege to enjoy public support. Common man is the country believe in his honesty, sincerity and integrity. It is expected, he might address the concerns of masses and meet the expectation of majority.
It is expected, PM Imran Khan’s visit will strengthen our traditional friendship with Turkey and enhance our cooperation in economy. Turkey is well advance in Education, S&T, Industry and Health, we may learn from Turkish experience and be beneficiary. There are many opportunities for collaboration between the two brotherly nations. All opportunities can be explored by improving people to people contacts, intellectuals, academicians, traders and industrialist of the two countries. Media can play even more important role to bridge the both sides. Hope, the fruits of this visit will be trickled down and people of two nations will be end beneficiary.