Pakistan and Turkey indeed have a special relationship as it is deep rooted in the hearts of the peoples of two countries. And it is really encouraging to see the expanding ties between them in the realm of defence.
President Arif Ali who is on a visit to Istanbul along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan participated in the launching of the 1st MILGEM Class Covette for Pakistan Navy.
The MILGEM project indeed is a true manifestation of strong Pakistan-Turkey ties. The contract for four MILGEM class Corvettes for Pakistan was signed in 2018.
Under the contract, two ships will be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.
These corvettes will be fitted with the state-of-art surface, sub-surface and anti-air weapons and sensors, integrated through an advanced network central combat management system.
“The induction of these warships will significantly enhance maritime defence and deterrence capabilities of Pakistan Navy and become a core element of Pakistan Navy’s kinetic response to traditional and non-traditional challenges and to maintain the balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region.
Addressing the launching ceremony, President Arif Alvi termed Pakistan-Turkey relationship a force for regional peace and stability with their exemplary support towards peaceful co-existence and cooperative multilateralism.
There is no denying that both Pakistan and Turkey have contributed significantly to the peace and stability of Afghanistan.
Both the brotherly countries share identical views and stance on almost all the international issues.
Our people hold Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of Turkey at high esteem for the support they extended to Pakistan on Kashmir dispute as well as the FATF.
Both Pakistan and Turkey have a history of strong defence relations with Ankara also procuring training aircraft, drone parts and other defence related equipment from Pakistan. They are increasingly pursuing technological cooperation as is manifested by the transfer of
technology in the case of MILGEM.
This special relationship also needs to be reflected in the field of economy and trade. Both the countries had signed Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) in February last year.
We expect both the countries will enhance their engagement at different levels to ensure its implementation and tap the potential in the realm of economy and trade.