Ankara keen on mega projects; promotion of tourism in Pakistan: Turkish Ambassador

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Salahuddin Haider

Turkish Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yardakul told a hybrid meeting of the English Speaking Union of Pakistan Thursday that bilateral ties between his country and Pakistan are much more than normal, they are exemplary, and linked with strong bonds, which in coming months and time will grow further so that their people benefit from each others’ experiences, growth, progress and development in economic, trade, investment, cultural, and defence fields.

Addressing through video link from Islamabad, he said they are brotherly States, have historic fraternal relations, which have enormous potential for growth.

Turkish investment in Pakistan is already at one billion US dollars mark, which is not enough. Both sides, must strive to build on in it.

As for the recent ban on sale of 32 helicopters to Pakistan, he said, that Islamabad must put forward its case to United States, but even if such an attempt does not succeed, the two countries, within a couple of years, will be cooperating in manufacturing their own weapons, helicopters and other defence equipment.

They people to people contacts are too strong to overcome difficulties in boosting ties.

As for delay in starting freight trains from Islamabad to Turkey, he said, problems, holding this development, would soon be overcome, and the train must start by the month of May this year.

He said Ankara was keen on mega projects in Pakistan, exchange of cultural delegations, promotion of tourism in Pakistan, which should try and improve infra-structure for tourism to flourish in Pakistan.

He will be too happy to see Turkish tourism promoters sending a team to study prospects for boosting tourism in Pakistan.

He was happy when someone from audience paid tributes to Turkish President Tayyab Erdogan, for uplifting the face of his country, and raising its progress level, and standard of living of its people.

He was also learning to that Pakistanis visit the holy place of Konia in Turkey in large numbers.

It is a common knowledge that Turkey, despite being a NATO member, pursues independent foreign policy and values friendship with Pakistan.

Istanbul too is an attractive tourist destination, with Topkapi palace a major attractions because of its museum maintaining sacred items in use by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

He added that his country appreciate Pakistan’s role for peace in Afghanistan, and in combating terrorism, a fact which the world recognizes.

Earlier The President of EUSP, Aziz Memon paid eloquent tributes to the ambassador for distinguished diplomatic careers, spread over 27 years, with postings in Sophia (Bulgaria), and in many other countries.

The Turkish consul general Tolga was also president. Eminent businessmen and vice chairman of EUSP Kalim Farooqui, thanked the ambassador for delivering an illuminating discourse, while participants on zoom asked his several questions.

The traditional momento, a shield for the ambassador was presented to consul general for onward delivery to the envoy in Islamabad. It was interesting sitting.