Pak-Turkey Relations

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The bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkey are deeply rooted in religious assimilations. Both countries share the diversified dynamics of cordiality over the years. Starting in 2016, in a joint communique, Pakistan and Turkey intend to reinforce their nearby ties into a “strategic partnership”. Relations go back ages before the foundation of the two states, more precisely during the Turkish War of Independence when the Muslims of the northwestern British Raj sent financial aid to the declining Ottoman Empire, which was trailed by the development of the Turkish Republic and the Independence of Pakistan. Moreover, the nation’s share chronicled Islamic ties, as the Muslims living under the British Raj considered the Ottoman Sultan as their Caliph and the Caliph of Islam and all Muslims.

The military-to-military relationship is exemplified by the military training exchange program, which was introduced in 2000. Since the program started, around 1,500 Pakistani military officials have been trained in Turkey. Turkey additionally keeps up Pakistan’s fleet of F-16 airplanes. Bilateral defense and security participation was supported with huge defense deals in 2018, and nowadays Turkey is Pakistan’s second-greatest arms provider after China. For instance, in October 2018, the Pakistan Navy dispatched a 17,000-ton fleet tanker, a built-in coordinated effort with Turkish defense company STM in the southern port city of Karachi.

For the West, investigating the special relationship between Turkey and Pakistan may provide insights towards improving relations with both nations. For the US, the spotlight with Turkey has been on Syria and Russia’s military impact; with Pakistan, it has been the job Pakistan plays in Afghanistan, as well as the exchange with India over Kashmir. Taking an in-depth look at what every nation looks to accomplish independently and together could give a helpful logical device to Western and US policymakers.

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