(By Dr Shahid Quteshi in Turkey) :-
My friends in Turkey told me today before the President Erdogan’s visit that: ‘they would like to see the cooperation grow thick and fast between Pakistan and Turkey in all sectors from defense to construction including developing of 5th Generation Air Force fighter jets’. They would also like to see the fruits of this co-operation shared with people on the street as life is difficult due to economic terrorism on Turkey.
Turkish – Pakistan relations are all weather and all times no matter who is in the governments. In the current scenario Pakistan can play a role in bringing Saudi Arabia and Turkey back in good terms especially after the ‘Jamal Khoshogi’s brutal murder in Istanbul Saudi Consulate. The impression that Saudis are calling the shots in Pakistan is an over exaggerated statement but somewhat true due to economic terrorism inflicted on Pakistan since 2008 by Bhutto-Zardari and Nawaz Sharifs corrupt regimes which brought Pakistan on its knees by design to de-nuclearize from its nuclear weapons.
Pakistan and Turkey both have vast opportunities to exchange and support each other. In either case what needs to happen is that fruits of mutual co-operation filter down to the people on the street and not make each other’s friends rich in all sectors. There need to be transparency in all the deals and projects as well as complementing all the sectors as much as possible.
Turkish media reported that: ‘Pakistani and Turkish business people gathered in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss ways to enhance bilateral trade and investment. The gathering was held at a special networking session, which was organized by Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry on the occasion of the two-day visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said a statement by the ministry.
Accompanying Erdogan in his visit, the Turkish business delegation is comprised of leading business representatives from engineering, energy, tourism, construction, defense, automotive, chemicals, information technology, and other sectors. More than 200 prominent businessmen from Pakistani counterpart sectors, leading trade bodies, including Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries, several government organizations, and Pakistan-Turkey Friendship Association attended the session.
“The objective of this initiative was to bring the businessmen from Turkey and Pakistan under one roof to explore ways to enhance trade and investment,” the statement added. Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Pakistan’s Secretary Commerce, welcomed the delegates in his opening remarks and mentioned strong relations between the two countries.
Abdul Razak Dawood, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor on commerce and investment, also visited the event and emphasized the importance of cooperation for enhancing bilateral trade and investment. He also met with Turkish delegates, chambers and associations and discussed the possible ways to increase bilateral trade and investment, according to the statement.
The current trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey is $900 million. The two countries are engaged in Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) that aims to boost the bilateral trade volume. Last year, Ankara presented its proposals on the SEF to Islamabad with an aim to enhance current bilateral trade five times. The SEF includes some 71 actionable items — including free trade agreement, technology transfer, capacity building, and defense cooperation.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Azerbaijan 2020 and 2018, Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China)