Welcoming President Erdogan


On Friday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered his fourth address to Parliament which is indicative of the closeness of Pak-Turkey relations. The PTI had boycotted Mr Erdogan’s last address in November 2016 on account of differences with the PML(N) government. It goes to the credit of the opposition parties that despite their reservations regarding the genuineness of the last elections and increasingly bitter relations with the PTI government, all were present during the Turkish President’s address. As evocatively narrated by President Erdogan, the people of Pakistan and Turkey have over a hundred years old history of warm relations and mutual help and cooperation during crucial moments in their history.

Pakistan and Turkey have supported each other’s key concerns. Pakistan backs Turkey on the issue of Cyprus. Unlike Pakistan’s Arab allies, President Erdogan strongly supported Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir and promised to continue to raise voice against the ongoing oppression in the IOK. He also promised to continue to stand by Pakistan at FATF meeting about to be held in a few days. Turkey also backed Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. Both countries are keen to enhance bilateral trade. Pakistan and Turkey also cooperate in enhancing each other’s defence capabilities.

PM Khan is desperately in search of a model to follow in order to overcome poverty and unemployment and to achieve high growth rates. He has alternately vowed to follow China, Malaysia and Turkey, forgetting that the ground realities being different from country to country, all the three have followed their own unique path. What is common is that the leaders in the three countries united their people instead of dividing them, inspired them through personal example to work hard and offer sacrifices.

While developing trade and business relations with Turkey, Pakistan has to work out its own unique path for economic and social development, keeping in view the ideals cherished by the founding father. Pakistan has to strive to be a modern inclusive democracy and a welfare state rather than an autocratic entity  or a security state.

While developing closer relations with Turkey, Pakistan has yo maintain friendly ties with its Arab allies. Unless it works hard to strengthen is economic base, it is bound to remain dependent on others.