Pakistan, Turkey can together bring peace to region: Erdogan
ISLAMABAD, Oct 26 (APP):
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday said Pakistan and Turkey
together can bring peace and stability to the entire region through greater
cooperation. “As long as we are in solidarity and continue our historical
ties...not a single regional problem [can] be an obstacle to our peace and
stability,” Erdogan said in his address to the specially convened joint sitting
of the parliament.
He said Turkey and Pakistan are
two influential and strong countries of the region and would together continue
to endeavour to strengthen global peace.
The distinguished guest, who
was earlier decorated with Pakistan’s highest civil award, expressed confidence
that Pakistan will surmount the challenge of terrorism, which was a common enemy
of the entire humanity.
“You are not alone in your
campaign against terrorism and extremism,” he said and mentioned that Turkey too
has had suffered heavily from terrorism.
“In this context, let me
underline that both my government and the Turkish people stand by their
Pakistani brothers and we are ready to help address all their needs to the best
of our abilities.”
Erdogan hoped that “Pakistan
will leave behind its troublesome days” through national reconciliation and
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan,
who spoke at length about the multifaceted historical ties that exist between
the two countries, said Pakistan has always occupied a special place in the
hearts and minds of Turkish government and its people.
He said Turkey has been a part
of Friends of Democratic Pakistan group from the very beginning and always
underlined the need to redress the issues confronting Pakistan as it was key
country for regional and global stability.
Erdogan stressed that all
countries must fulfill the pledges made at Tokyo donors’ conference on April 25
and said the group must ensure rapid implementation of projects in the areas of
health and education.
He termed the February 18, 2008
general elections a new era for Pakistan as it has paved the way for further
strengthening democracy and democratic institutions in the country.
Prime Minister Erdogan said
Pakistan has covered lots of ground in terms of its relations with Afghanistan
in the last two years.
He said the cooperation between
Pakistan and Turkey was not limited to bilateral ties but covers a much broader
He described the tripartite -
Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan arrangement initiated by Ankara as a “robust
process” and recalled that three meetings in this regard have helped resolve the
Erdogan said a parliamentary
dimension to this process was also being implemented and members of foreign
relations committees of the parliament of the three countries have already met
at Ankara a few months back.
Prime Minister Erdogan recalled
the joint political declaration signed on Sunday and said it would enable the
two countries further strengthen their ties in all areas.
“We will particularly strive to
accelerate our economic and trade relations and Inshallah we will raise our
trade volume to US 2 billion dollars by the end of 2012,” he said amidst
thumping of desks by members of the Senate and the National Assembly.
Erdogan, who is also leading a
delegation of Turkey’s leading businessmen, said they have had extensive
discussions with their Pakistani counterparts to boost cooperation in joint
ventures, infrastructure development, transportation and agriculture sectors.
“We are working together in all
economic realms ranging from transportation, infrastructure to energy lines and
banking to development projects and defence industry projects,” the Turkish
Prime Minister said.
He said the two countries have
taken a major step forward in rail road transportation and the first train that
departed on August 14 from Islamabad arrived in Istanbul via Tehran in 14 days.
He said there was a need to
increase flights between the two countries to serve as an “air bridge” besides
making efforts for enhancing maritime transportation. He said the two countries
were also cooperating at various international fora including ECO, D-8 and the
Prime Minister Erdogan paid
rich tributes to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and described her as one of the most
distinguished leaders of not only Pakistan but the whole world.
He said the Turkish grand
national assembly adopted a joint declaration to express its deep condolences
and solidarity to the people of Pakistan over her Shahdat on December 27, 2007.
He fondly recalled that late
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in his last letter to his beloved daughter mentioned the
grandeur of Istanbul, a city where East meets West.
“Without any hesitation, I
should state a fact...Istanbul, as much as being a Turkish city also belongs to
Pakistanis. We too feel at home in Islamabad...in every corner of Pakistan.”
Prime Minister Erdogan said
relations between Pakistan and Turkey were unique.
“The deep affinity and respect
between the peoples of Turkey and Pakistan as well as solidarity between us have
hardly any other examples across the world,” he added.
Erdogan said the people of
Turkey experience same kind of pleasure when they read the poetry of Abul Asar
Hafeez Jallundhary, the creator of Pakistan’s national anthem, as when they read
the verses of their own poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the writer of their national
He mentioned that prominent
Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Beyath, who was also Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan,
presented his credentials to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He quoted the
Quaid as saying: “...many spiritual and emotional bonds which have flourished
throughout a long history link the Turkish nation to the Pakistani nation.”
The Turkish Prime Minister
recalled the deep historical ties between the two nations and said “we owe
gratitude to the people of Pakistan. How can we forget the support that Muslims
of the sub-Continent provided during our war of independence.”
He also mentioned Allama Iqbal
who in his poetry mentioned with respect the achievement of Mustafa Kemal Pasha.
“This is the reason why Turkey
considers Pakistan’s successes as its own. Pakistan’s problems are Turkey’s
problems. We regard your happiness as ours and your agonies as ours,” he said as
the National Assembly hall resounded with thumping of desks by the
Erdogan said it was an honour
for him to address the joint sitting of Pakistani parliament that has the Muslim
world’s first ever woman speaker.
The galleries, occupied by the
three services chiefs, diplomats and elite of the city, listened intently to the
address of Turkish leader who holds a special place in the hearts of people of