Pak-Turk Relations Reach New High
The friendship of Pakistan and Turkey dates back before the formation of the two, especially during the Turkish War of Independence when the Muslims of the British Raj (Now India and Pakistan) sent a financial aid to the troubled Ottoman Empire, which was followed by the establishment of the Turkish Republic and the Independence of Pakistan. Pakistanis enjoy a positive perception among the Turks because following the establishment of Pakistan, both countries extended each other their sustenance during the most challenging times, such as in reacting natural catastrophes and they also cemented their friendly relations with frequent high-level visits. The positive reflection of the tremendous bilateral relations can also be seen in foreign media. Turkey and Pakistan are supporting each other in all international platforms. Pakistan also adopts a highly compassionate approach on international matters, which are of special interest for Turkey.
In 2017, 70 years old Pak Turk diplomatic relations were celebrated by organizing different cultural events in both countries. This brotherhood and harmony between both nations is because of the fact that they share same cultural and religious history. Other than this, Pakistan and Turkey have economic ties as well. Turkey considers Pakistan a protuberant figure in promoting the stability of peace and unity in the region. "The Turkish people always consider Pakistan as their second home, and we wish to see this country always strong and prosperous," Yurdakul (Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan) said. Besides that, Pakistan is also inspired by Turk Liberation war and Turk struggle for democracy. This fraternal relationship can allow Pakistan to broaden its geostrategic opportunities and reinforce the already rapid growing China Turkey relationship manifested in the construction and diversification of Chinese conceived Eurasian Land Bridges that connects China to the vast Eurasian landmass via Turkey.
Economic relations have been witnessed to be both declined and peeked but defense trade between the two is of greater importance and in this regard, many agreements have been signed. Pakistan has also invited Turkey to join the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which would benefit both countries. “Pakistan highly values its relations with Turkey, and the new government desires to further strengthen relations between Islamabad and Ankara, said Asad Qaiser, speaker of the National Assembly”. According to state-run Radio Pakistan, Qaiser invited Turkey to join CPEC, which will benefit all countries in the region. Turkey’s ambassador also vowed to strengthen relations with Pakistan. During this visit two countries has signed number of economic deals, as future of any country can only sustain on economy not only on defense. While addressing the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), Khan said that it is time to boost the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan. He also mentioned about the $64 billion One Belt One Road project aims to connect northwest China to Pakistan's southwestern Gwadar port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil, and gas.
Initially when Pakistan’s leadership was changed, Turkey was suspicious about building bilateral ties with Pakistan but all the fears of Turkish leaders were soon eradicated because of Khan’s phenomenal leadership and outstanding approach towards the region. Here it is worth mentioning that Imran Khan has emerged as a true leader not at national but at international level as well, this fact is being recognized at different levels. One of the core aims of his leadership is to take personal politics away from regional and international relations. His acts are being paid attention at international level. His recent visit to Turkey was considered very successful. He has repeatedly said that President Erdogan along with the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad are his two contemporary political heroes. He is such a prescient leader that he can foresee how to productively channel Turkey’s important geopolitical location for a positive and healthy Pakistan-Turkey relations as Turkey can move in multiple directions because of its central geostrategic location.
Imran Khan’s two day visit remained very successful, as Turkish government also emphasized their concern about fighting terrorism, calling international community to support Palestinians to get an independent and sovereign state and also help Kashmiris to make them enable to get their independent state according to the UN resolutions. Indeed, this is beginning of new era for both the countries. In this context, the firming of economic ties, as well as brotherly ties, between Turkey and Pakistan, is of great significance. Pakistani and Turkish investors seem to have a extensive commercial sphere to turn the potential in bilateral relations into opportunities. Consequently, in the current scenario, although a lot have been done but there is way more to go between the two countries.