VISIT of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to one of the closest friends of Pakistan-Turkey — proved to be yet another occasion to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and ponder over ways and means to further diversify the mutually beneficial multi-dimensional relationship. The expression of complete solidarity of Turkish leadership with Pakistan, signing of ten agreements and MoUs and understanding reflected in Joint Declaration would surely go a long way in cementing ties between the two nations.
Turkey has always been an ardent supporter of the causes that are dear to Pakistan and this was again manifested when Ankara called for resolution of all outstanding differences between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through a sustained dialogue process and in, more so, ‘in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions’. Similarly, Turkey also backed the principled stand taken by Pakistan on UN reform process, which should make the Security Council more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable. This support is not without reason as people of Pakistan always considered Turkey like their own homeland and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif represented their feelings by declaring that enemies of Turkey are enemies of Pakistan and also reiterated Pakistan’s firm support for Turkey on Cyprus issue. It is all the more satisfying that an understanding has been reached to intensify defence cooperation with focus on joint defence production and research and development activities. We believe that if this is done on priority basis then two countries not only have the potential to fulfil their own defence requirements but also produce quality equipment for export as well. A workable strategy should be finalised at the soonest in view of ground realities and changing regional/global scenario. Negotiations should also be focused on exploring ways and means for Turkish participation in projects under the umbrella of CPEC. The resolve to strengthen cooperation in the fields of coal, electricity transmission and hydrocarbons and increasing trade volume reflects excellent political relations, which would surely help realise the common desire to transform these relationship into a strategic partnership.