January 3, 2010

Pakistan–Turkey relations

Pakistani–Turkish relations are foreign relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Turkey. These relations have been traditionally strong. Both nations maintain extensive cultural, commercial, strategic and military cooperation. Both Turkey and Pakistan are Muslim-majority states and share extensive cultural and geopolitical links. Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf expressed a desire to develop Pakistan on the Turkish model of modernism and secularism.

Contents [hide]
1 Development of bilateral relations
2 Trade
2.1 Train service
3 Strategic ties
4 Trilateral Ankara cooperation process

Development of bilateral relations
Turkey established diplomatic relations soon after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and bilateral relations became increasingly close important owing to cultural, religious and geopolitical links between the two countries. Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah expressed admiration for Turkey's founding leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and expressed a desire to develop Pakistan on the Turkish model of modernism and secularism. Similar ideas were expressed by the former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf, who grew up in Turkey and had received extensive military training there.Jinnah is honoured as a great leader in Turkey, and a major road of the Turkish capital Ankara, the Cinnah Caddesi is named after him, while roads in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Larkana are named after Atatürk. On 26 October 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was awarded with the Nishan-e-Pakistan and was the fourth world leader who spoke to the Pakistani parliament. Erdoğan said that Pakistan had always occupied a special place in the hearts and minds of the Turkish government and people.

Turkey and Pakistan are founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization and part of the Developing 8 Countries (D-8) organization. Both nations have worked to negotiate a preferential trading agreement, aiming to considerably increase trade and investments, especially in transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, tourism and other industries. Both governments have sought to increase the volume of bilateral trade from $690 million to more than $1 billion by 2010.Pakistani exports include rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports goods, and medical equipment. Turkey's exports to Pakistan include wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products. Turkish private corporations have also invested significantly in industrial and construction projects developing highways, pipelines and canals.

Train service
Wikinews has related news: Pakistan to Turkey container train service launched
A container train service was launched by the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani between Islamabad and Istanbul on 14 August 2009. The first train carried 20 containers with a capacity of around 750 t (738 LT; 827 ST) and will travel 6,500 km (4,000 mi) from Islamabad, through Baluchistan and Tehran, Iran and on to Istanbul in two weeks' time.According to the Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, after the trial of the container train service, a passenger train will be launched.There are also hopes the route will eventually provide a link to Europe and Central Asia, and carry passengers.

Strategic ties
Pakistan and Turkey have maintained long-standing military ties, with Turkey supplying arms, military equipment and training Pakistani officers. On 2 April 1954, Pakistan and Turkey signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Both countries, valued as important states in their regions, joined the U.S.-led Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) aimed to bolster military and strategic cooperation and counter the spread of communism and Soviet influence in the region. Turkey has openly supported Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir conflict and maintained political and military support during its wars with India.Pakistan has reciprocated by expressing support for Turkey's policy on Northern Cyprus.Both nations have sought to expand cooperation to fight terrorism. Both countries are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

Trilateral Ankara cooperation process
Turkey launched a trilateral summit process between the two states and Afghanistan in February 2007, following a visit by then Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül to Islamabad, as the backbone of its diversified foreign policy in Southeast Asia and Pakistani deputy Humair Hayat Khan Rokhri confirmed that according to Gül “we are all brothers who need to support each other,” in order to, “bring security and stability to the region.”

An 1 April 2009 meeting between Pakistani and Afghan leaders, conducted as part of the trilateral Ankara cooperation process, saw the three countries pledged to increase coordination between their political, military and intelligence tiers in the fight against militancy and terrorism. Chairman of the Turkish–Pakistani Friendship Association Burhan Kayatürk has stated that, “It is the first time that the military and intelligence chiefs of Afghanistan and Pakistan have attended the trilateral summit, which is a reflection of the deeper commitment to work together.”

At the 17 April 2009 Friends of Pakistan Tokyo Donors Conference, Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydın pledged $100 million to Pakistan for infrastructure, health and education projects. Turkish Parliamentary Deputy Kayatürk has called on neighbouring countries, including India, to make similar commitments as “It is in their interests to see a stable Pakistan; otherwise violence will spill over into their territory.”

Pakistani and Afghan parliamentary deputies came together in Ankara on 5 May 2009, as part of the trilateral Ankara cooperation process, where they met with the now Turkish President Gül and new Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to discuss a variety of issues. Head of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission Murat Mercan stated;

“Today we need cooperation between our countries more than ever. I believe Turkey, having historical brotherhood relations with both, is in a special position to improve and deepen this cooperation. Turkey is confident that the cooperation to be established between Afghanistan and Pakistan will help a lot to solve the problems.”

Chairman of the Pakistani Parliament’s Foreign Relations Commission Asfandyar Wali Khan conveyed his thanks and stated,

“We need Turkey’s support to build stability in the region.”
Mercan concluded,

“We are finally on the verge of institutionalising the trilateral Ankara cooperation process within the framework of parliamentary joint initiatives,” with follow-up meetings due to be held in Islamabad and Kabul at four-month intervals.

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