Pak-Turkey Strategic Ties to touch new high
Mahmood said on Sunday Pakistan and Turkey were learning from each
other's experiences and had mounted determined efforts to eliminate
the scourge of terrorism from their soil.
Both the countries suffer at the hands of terrorists but
share information as their security and defence forces were in a
regular dialogue on the issue to further cement their cooperation
on combating terrorism, he told APP in an interview while
recapitulating Pak-Turkish close and friendly relationship in
He said during their bilateral meetings the two sides had
been exploring more avenues to reinforce their multi-faceted
relations, particularly in defence and economic sectors.
"It is an on-going process and is always on the agenda for
further strengthening security and defence cooperation," he said.
Turkish Police had been helping Punjab police to build its capacity
in counter-terrorism and helped it train Dolphin Force for curbing
the street crimes.
On signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he said, both countries
had already signed the framework for the agreement in March this year
and there would be more round of talks in May and June for finalizing further details.
He said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had already instructed
for completion of negotiations by September this year when the two
countries are expected to ink the agreement.
The agreement would create a legal framework for greater trade
between two countries which was far below the actual potential, he
FTA would open up vast opportunities for the Pak-Turk business communities which would be a consistency of the desire of both the
countries to further bolster their economic relations, said the envoy.
This will give them a chance to collaborate in bilateral business
ventures and start such projects with the third country as well, he
Turkish ambassador to Islamabad Sadik Babur Girgin, in a recent
talk had also expressed similar views, saying there were massive
economic opportunities which should be tapped for the benefit of the
To a question on the start of cargo train between Pakistan and
Turkey, he said, efforts were underway while both the countries were
engaged in addressing many technical issues like schedule of the
trains and customs formalities.
He said Chambers of Commerce of Pakistan, Iran and Turkey needed
to be in touch and work out details about the cargo train. However,
he said Pakistan was keen to start the cargo train as soon as possible.
As the discussion between the two sides on the cargo train were
underway, some officials were of the opinion that there should be
guaranteed cargo while others would say the start of the train
would generate bookings and business activities on its own.
Describing the train service as a 'promising project',
the ambassador said it would help enhance trade between the
three countries and generate a lot of economic activities.
The envoy who had also taken some steps to further deepen
people-to-people contacts said Pak-Turkish relations transcended governments as both the countries were bound by their special
Quoting an example, he said, hundred years of Urdu were
recently celebrated in Turkey and Urdu was being taught at
the universities of Ankara, Istanbul and Seljuk. Poet of the
East Allama Muhammad Iqbal was very popular in Turkey and his
spiritual association with Rumi was well known, he added.
Iqbal in his works had supported Turkey so he had a special
place in hearts of Turks as they felt a sense of gratitude to
him, he added.
Sohail Mahmood said this year Jinnah Young Writers Award
and an essay completion on the subject of Pak- Turkish relations
in historical relations were organised in Turkey to further
promote cultural relations between the two countries.
The ambassador said he was making special efforts to transfer
close relationship between the two countries to the younger generation
of Turkey. He said at least 1500 students from Pakistan were studying
in various universities of Turkey.