Turkey pledges unwavering support to Kashmir cause

Turkey pledges unwavering support to Kashmir cause

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Wednesday stressed the need for building new partnerships in the region and sought to enhance the cooperation in trade and commerce between Pakistan and Turkey.

He expressed his gratitude for the continued support of Turkey to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He expressed these views while talking to Speaker of Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Sentopin in Moscow, Russia, according to a message received here.

During the meeting, the Turkish Speaker termed Kashmir a “bleeding wound of history” and urged an early resolution of the dispute between India and Pakistan under the UN resolutions and by taking the aspirations of the Kashmiri people into account.

He reiterated Turkish support to the Kashmir cause. The Turkish Speaker called the relation between Pakistan and Turkey as “deeply etched in the hearts and minds of the two people”.

He emphasized on further promoting the cooperation and said it was the cornerstone of Turkish foreign policy to see a prosperous, peaceful and developed Pakistan.

The two sides also stressed for regional peace and resolved to strengthen the forum of the “Speakers Conference of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey”.

This forum was established on the suggestion of Pakistan in 2017 when its first conference was held in Islamabad in December 2017. The Forum is due to meet in October 2019 in Istanbul for the third time after it held its second meeting in Tehran in 2018.

The Turkish Speaker acknowledged Pakistan National Assembly’s contributions for the regional peace through the establishment of this Forum and sought to enhance its mandate. Speaker Asad Qaiser agreed to the idea of discussing the matter in the next meeting of the Speakers Conference.

Speaker Asad Qaiser was referring to the visit of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, during which various agreements were signed for enhancing economic and strategic cooperation to next level.

He said both countries needed to translate excellent political cooperation into a vibrant economic partnership.

Both sides noted that while the strategic partnership of the two countries had seen a marked increase in the recent years, the same was not reflected in the economic cooperation.

The volume of bilateral trade, although improved in recent years, still had a great potential for increase on both sides. Speaker Asad Qaiser informed the Turkish Speaker about his initiative of forming a Special Committee on Agriculture and said he was keen to focus on this vital sector since it was the lifeline of over 70 percent of his country’s population.

Speaker Mustafa Sentop, while taking keen interest, inquired about the working of the Committee and favored joint cooperation in this regard.

Speaker Qaiser further noted that the conclusion of free Trade Agreement and removal of double tariffs would give a boost to economic cooperation. For this, he sought a greater push and reiterated to the already extended invitation to the President of Turkey and hoped to welcome him in Pakistan for the next round of talks between the two countries.

Speaker Asad Qaiser also reaffirmed his already extended invitation to his Turkish counterpart, which was accepted by Speaker Mustafa of Turkey and hoped to visit Pakistan in November this year.