With pledge to further uplift bilateral ties, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, accompanied by a high-level government delegation arrived in Turkey on a three-day official visit. During his visit, the Prime minister will have a tete-a-tete with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which would be followed by delegation-level talks. Besides discussing the Pakistan-Turkey bilateral relations, the two leaders would also exchange views on regional and international issues. They will also address a Joint press stakeout after their meetings. The visit holds immense significance as it would rest the tone and context of bilateral ties. Amid political turmoil and economic soft patch, this trip will also assist to further strengthen economic relations. In retrospect, Turkey has always stood by Pakistan in all the chief events in history, from standing by Pakistan against Indian violence in Kashmir, and raising voice at United Nation General Assembly, to supporting in the financial issues and FATF. Turkey has always been the key ally of Pakistan in whatsoever the situation befalls. Pakistan, on the other hand also stood by Turkey in its conflicts with the neighboring countries, and has always extended full support to Turkey.
The two countries are close at cultural and public level as well, and admire each other people and culture to a greater extent. The cooperation between the two states further goes on to the economic and strategic level as well. Both the countries have done many Joint Ventures, in order to promote economic and strategic cooperation, for enhancing stability in the region. The establishment of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for boosting the economic ties between the two states; the two countries have also signed Strategic Economic Framework in February 2021, which entails a broad spectrum of science and technology, education, tourism, health and defence. The Pakistan- Turkey Free Trade Agreement is also in the pipeline. Furthermore, Pakistan –Turkey Military Consultative Group (MCG), the Turco-Pak Treaty are indications of strong military alliance between Turkey and Pakistan. This was further enhanced when President Erdogan came into power. The Pakistan-Turkey High Level Military Dialogue (HLMD) was developed between the two states in December 2020, aimed at promoting defence ties between the two countries. It opened a new era of joint defence production, training and cooperation between the two states.
Multi-dimensional ties between Pakistan and Turkey are essence of brotherhood, which started amongst the Indian Muslims and the Ottoman Empire. It is pertinent to mention that previously even secular Turkey never hindered the progression of friendly connections with Islamic Republic of Pakistan. These relations have had profound cultural and political associations between both countries. The people of Turkey lovingly recall the care they had received from Indian Muslims during the Turkish War of Independence that led to the formation of contemporary Turkey. Historically there are many features behind companionable connections between the two countries. Both Pakistan and Turkey are further extending their collaboration being members of several regional organizations. Therefore, connections between Pakistan and Turkey should be viewed from a wider historical context. The cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey was originally regarding following the security aid stemmed from their mutual confrontation of the communist bloc in the 1950s. Today both countries are engaged in curbing the menace of terrorism along with boosting trade and economic activities. The relations between Pakistan and Turkey are composed of multiple facets but the most prominent ones are religion and culture. They both have demonstrated to be significant determinants for enhancing relations between Pakistan and Turkey. When we talk about the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Turkey, it truly connected back to the Ottoman Empire, even before the advent of Pakistan and Turkey as independent states. Today both countries are enjoying cordial relation whether its business, trade, education, tourism, defense, production, infrastructural developments or the cooperation in cultural ventures. There is marvelous potential in numerous areas of interest and. The formation of joint business council and joint marketing company has additionally comforted the situation for investors and businessmen from the both sides. Turkey’s capital and skilled manpower of Pakistan is indeed an excellent incorporation for joint ventures in the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. These are the obvious facts and advancement is underway to meet the decisive goals. For enhancing trade activities in 2015 Pakistan and Turkey has signed free trade agreement (FTA).
To conclude, the cooperation in defence industry is evident in the trade relations between the two states. Pakistan plays a pivotal role in enhancing peace and stability in South Asia, Turkey in this regard is endeavors to assist Pakistan in order to overcome the hurdles in achieving peace. Recognizing the defence and economic needs are essential in achieving the national foreign policy agenda. The alliance making and cooperation with regional allies, like Turkey, will boost Pakistan‘s economy and international standing as well. Pakistan, considering the neighborhood, has to focus on the defence spending through defence trade ties, for boosting the state and regional security. The shifting global alliances and the continuous changing global geo-political order, the strong strategic-economic cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan add up in each other’s errand. Both states must continue their trajectory of bilateral harmonious ties to ensure positive sum gains for the mutual prosperity and progressive development.