Turkish, Pakistani Prime Ministers discuss Iran's nuclear issue

ANKARA, 21 May 2010: Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday evening (20th May 2010) telephoned the Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in order to take him into confidence over the 17 May Joint Declaration of Iran, Turkey and Brazil. Erdogan apprised Gilani that he had earlier on also spoken to US President Obama and Russian Prime Minister Putin on this subject.

The Pakistani Prime Minister commended his Turkish counterpart’s statesmanship and crucial role in adoption of the joint declaration and arranging for the agreement on Iran’s nuclear fuel exchange. He expressed the hope that this agreement would pave the way for a negotiated resolution of the controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. Gilani stated that Pakistan had consistently advocated for a peaceful resolution of Iran’s nuclear issue by recognizing Iran’s right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes while adhering to its NPT obligations.
The question of recognition of Kosovo also came under discussion during the telephonic conversation between the two leaders. The Prime Minister informed the Turkish leader that Pakistan was keenly observing the current situation. He noted that the UN General Assembly through a resolution had sought the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and ICJ’s opinion was due in July or August, this year. Pakistan hence would keep this issue under review and wait for ICJ’s opinion before taking any decision.
Both the Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction over the exemplary relationship and the ongoing multifaceted bilateral cooperation between both countries. They agreed to further strengthen the existing ties through concerted/sustained efforts and enhanced bilateral interaction at all levels. ENDS

Turkey honours Pakistani Artist

ANKARA, 20 May 2010: First prize was awarded to a painting made by Pakistani artist Mr. Asif Raza Ansari during the 3rd Great Anatolian Meeting of the World Cultures & Youth being organized at Ataturk Culture Centre in Ankara from 15-21 May.
Pakistan’s Ambassador in Turkey, H.E. Mr. Tariq Azizuddin congratulated the artist and entire Pakistani team on winning this prestigious award for their country. “People all around the world should appreciate that Pakistanis are a talented nation and always excel in every field of life against all odds,” he remarked.
“Mr. Ansari is a handicapped artist but his skills in art and craft were unmatched during the entire exhibition,” says Mr. Mohammad Abbas Khan, who is heading the 30-member Pakistani cultural troupe.
The troupe displayed their artistic skills and performed Pakistani folktales Heer Ranjha, and Anarkali, and enthralled the audience with Pakistani dance Bhangra.

Pak Turkey Joint Collaboration in Technical Education & Vocational Training

Pakistan and Turkey can learn from each other in the fields of technical education and vocational training. Service sector could be an area of joint collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey. This and many other opportunities were explored in Ankara on 10 May 2010 during meetings of a visiting Pakistani delegation of technical education and vocational training (TVET) to the Ministry of National Education. The 3-member Pakistani delegation led by the Mr. Aziz Ahmad Bilour, Executive Director, National Vocational & Technical Education Commission, is on 5-day tour of Turkey to meet experts in the TVET sector.
Mr. Huseyin ACIR, General Director, General Directorate of Technical and Vocational Education, Ministry of National Education, Republic of Turkey, briefed the visiting delegation about the TVET in Turkey. He said his directorate has just completed a reform programme of the technical education sector worth Euro 58.2 million. About 58 fields of technical education are currently offered by the Directorate in the technical education sector while protocols with 86 organizations are in place that helps the students in obtaining on the job training. There are over 1.5 million students in the technical schools in Turkey.
Mr. ACIR also shared the findings of recent Household & Labor Force Survey conducted in April 2010. He said 47.5% is the rate of participation in the national economy which is dominated by the service sector, employing 50.5% of the labour force.
The delegation also visited the offices of the General Director of Girls’s Technical Training and met the General Director Ms Emine KIRAƇ. She briefed the delegation about the female technical education and informed that about 400,000 girl students are studying in about 1600 schools. In order to keep the Turkish culture alive, there are 12 special technical education schools that are specialized in the trades such as handicrafts.
Murat Bey BALTA of General Directorate of Commerce & Tourism Education also shared his thoughts. He said service sector has great potential for accommodating maximum number of labour force and the Turkish Government is devising strategies to produce highly skilled labour force such as tourist guides, hotel managers, restaurant managers, logistics experts, etc. He said in 2009, despite adverse economic conditions, Turkey attracted over 24 million tourists and approximately $ 21 billion was added to the economy.
Mr. Bilour informed the hosts that currently the TVET system in Pakistan is revamped. The focus of technical education is being changed from supply oriented to demand driven. NAVTEC has prepared National Skills Strategy 2009-13 that envision a flexible and competency based training where industry has a role in design and delivery. Industry Advisory Groups for services, construction and dairy & livestock have been constituted, he added.
Pakistan has over 100 million persons below the age of 25 years and through enhancing their skills, can strengthen the economy on a sustained basis. Pakistan and Turkey will soon sign an MoU to formalize cooperation in the field of technical education and vocational training.

DAWN.COM | Columnists | A leaf from Turkey’s book

Have a good idea about the resemblence of Pakistan and Turkey's socio-political structure, read.... Follow the link
A leaf from Turkey’s book
I quote from an interesting article from this week's Economist edition (29 April - 4 May 2010) under the title "The future of non-proliferation - an akward guest-list:" ... But it is Pakistan that is single-handedly holding up the start of negotiations on an FMCT, though others, including India are not keen to make speedy progress. Pakistan deeply resents the controversial Indial nuclear deal. India is now able to devote more of its limited supplies of domestic uranium to weapons production, letting imports cover more of its civilian needs. Pakistan argues that it needs to keep up, and China seems to be helping it do so by supplying technology that will boost its fissile-material productions and perhaps a nuclear reactor or two, though this would all be against NSG rules. What Pakistan would really love is a deal like India's."

One need to ponder as to what are the factors that led to India's successful candidature for nuclear civilian deal while Pakistan, despite being a declared nuclear state is not yet offered such a deal.