Joint Statement Adopted at the Conclusion of the Fifth Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey, 24 December 2010

His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey held their fifth Trilateral Summit meeting in Istanbul on 24 December 2010. 

On the occasion of the Trilateral Summit, H.E. President Hamid Karzai and H.E. President Asif Ali Zardari also had comprehensive exchange of views with H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey. 

At their Trilateral Summit meeting the Presidents, 

Recalling that the Trilateral Summit Process has been providing an increasingly efficient and robust platform for taking forward multi-dimensional dialogue, cooperation and partnership among the three countries, 

Underscoring that the Process supplemented and added significant impetus to friendly relations among their countries, 

Highlighting that increased contacts among the members of the parliaments, high-level military officials, directors of intelligence organizations, officials and experts, as well as business circles constitute yet another valuable outcome of the Trilateral Summit Process, 

Stressing that the Trilateral Summit Process should be continued by fostering multi-dimensional trilateral cooperation in every field of joint interest including through public-private partnerships. 

Underlining the relevance of enhanced regional cooperation, driven primarily by regional ownership, in tackling common challenges, as well as in maximizing common benefits, 

Recalling the mutually reinforcing linkage between security and development, 

Stressing the importance of sustained development as a strategic leverage in addressing common challenges that afflict many countries in their region, 

Reaffirming that trans-regional development remained a key priority of the Trilateral Summit Process, 

Underlining their countries’ critical geo-strategic location for peace, stability and development in the entire region, 

Reiterating their determination to cooperate in their fight against terrorism, which constitutes a crime against humanity, and extremism in all its forms, including by effectively tackling its financial resources, 

Declared the following: 

1. The Trilateral Summit Process is truly representative of the deep rooted and brotherly ties of friendship and solidarity that are growing ever stronger among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey. Improved cooperation between our countries nurtures our trilateral platform which opens new prospects for broader and deeper cooperation. We will continue our cooperation and engagement at multiple tracks. 

2. Our Trilateral Summit Process has come a long-way in building upon the strong foundations of our dialogue and cooperation. Today the Trilateral Summit Process among our countries covers a broad range of topics, benefits our peoples and allows increased contacts among our officials and business circles. These in turn strengthen the value-added brought by the Trilateral Process. We will continue to build on these in a progressive and determined manner. 

3. We welcome the intention to hold the second joint meeting of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commissions of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan after the new parliament in Afghanistan opens early next year. 

4. Presidents of the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan expressed their full support for President Karzai’s roadmap and the Kabul process. Peace and reintegration in Afghanistan should be led and steered by the Government of Afghanistan. We will continue to extend our support to Afghanistan. We have noted President Karzai’s update on the reconciliation process and extended our solidarity with the Afghan people in this vital effort. 

5. The democratic development of our countries, security, stability and prosperity in and around our regions as well as our investments in our vast and vibrant human capital will only become stronger as we continue to respect and learn from each other and build on lessons learned and best practices. Investing in an auspicious future for our societies requires more and faster development and stronger institutional capacity building now. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation with this understanding. 

We will continue to engage our relevant institutions, particularly in the field of development, training, education and institutional capacity building. In this context, we note the proposed initiation of an “Administrative Reform and Institutional Capacity Building Training Program”. 

6. We lament the loss of lives and vast destruction in Pakistan as a result of the flash floods. Pakistan, with its proud people and time-tested resilience will no doubt overcome the challenges and continue its development in every way. The Turkish, Afghan and Pakistani peoples will continue to stand by one another whenever required. Pakistan gratefully acknowledges the generous flood relief assistance provided by the brotherly governments and peoples of the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. 

We will build effective mechanisms to enhance trilateral cooperation for disaster management contingencies. 

7. Security and intelligence cooperation constitutes an important dimension of the Trilateral Summit Process. Contacts between high-level military officials as well as intelligence experts contribute to our efforts to fight terrorism and extremism. This cooperation shall be continued and rendered even more result-oriented. 

We note the fruitful meeting of the Chiefs of our Intelligence Services held in Istanbul prior to our Summit meeting on 2-3 December 2010. 

We also hail the decision of our military authorities to hold the Trilateral Military Live Exercise on Urban Warfare in Istanbul on 19-27 March 2011 which will concretely manifest the headway made in taking forward the military cooperation dimension of the Trilateral Summit Process that is against no other party. We are looking forward to a successful exercise, which will constitute a stepping stone for closer cooperation. A Distinguished International Visitors Day will be organized in course of the exercise. 

As part of our security cooperation, training programs made available to joint participation, at, inter alia, Turkish training facilities will be re-invigorated and re-focused. Furthermore, joint training seminars and courses will be made available to counter-narcotics officers from Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Turkish International Academy Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC). 

8. Contacts among our private sectors under the umbrella of the Istanbul Forum will only be strengthened by investing in infrastructure, including in communications, commerce, transportation of passengers and goods by road, railways and airways, as well as energy. 

The railway link between Turkey, Iran and Pakistan has been given significant emphasis since its inauguration on 14 August 2009. We will continue to work towards improving the railway connection between Turkey and Pakistan and look forward to extending it to Afghanistan. We will also focus on progressively improving airway connections as well as increasing flight frequencies among our countries. 

9. Dialogue, mutual trust and improved connections in every field are essential features of enhanced cooperation. “The Istanbul Statement on Friendship and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia” of 26 January 2010 has set out a viable and realistic vision to improve regional cooperation. We reaffirm our support to the principles and the shared vision enshrined therein. We will continue to build on the Istanbul Vision with further steps in the time ahead. 

10. The Istanbul Statement has grown out of this trilateral forum. Following the same example we have decided today to lead the way in bringing ideas in the Istanbul Statement on Friendship and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia by agreeing to establish among ourselves a trilateral direct video-telephone conference line in support of increased dialogue and communication; organize a table-top Disaster Response Simulation Exercise; establish a Trilateral Minds Platform composed of members of academia, media and thinks tanks; launch joint capacity building programs through cooperation among our relevant organizations with a view to promoting joint training dialogue and activities; establish a joint media platform; produce joint TV programs and organize a joint cultural exhibition to highlight commonalities as well as cooperation among countries and peoples. 

11. We will continue our Trilateral Summit Process through annual Summit meetings. The Trilateral Summit Process will continue to be supported by Trilateral Foreign Ministers meetings as well as the Joint Working Group among Undersecretaries of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. 

His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan extended their thanks to H.E. President Abdullah Gül and H.E. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and to the Government and brotherly people of Turkey for hosting the fifth Trilateral Summit.

All aboard the high-speed 'Gül Train' from Pakistan to Turkey - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

All aboard the high-speed 'Gül Train' from Pakistan to Turkey - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

Pakistani Prime Minister address to Envoys of EU, US, China, Russia and Japan

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for accepting my invitation. It is always a pleasure meeting you.
You represent important countries that are all good friends and partners of Pakistan.
We value the support extended by your governments and, in particular, for your understanding for the challenges Pakistan faces.
Let me give you a snapshot view about developments within Pakistan.
As you know, we have been subjected to a series of terrorist attacks. No city, no segment of the society has been spared. Over thirty thousand of our civilian and brave soldiers have lost their lives in the fight against terrorism.
The whole Nation as well as all State institutions are resolute in their determination that we will eliminate terrorism from our soil.
We have registered major successes in Swat, Malakand and South Waziristan. By no means are these small achievements.
We will persist with our efforts to stabilize those regions. Bring development, improve the socio-economic conditions and mainstream these areas politically.
The biggest challenge ensuing from the security situation is its detrimental impact on our economy. Recessionary trends, together with fuel and food price hike and floods, have also compounded the problem.
Energy deficit is another major issue. All these factors have contributed to rising poverty levels, unemployment and tremendous sufferings and pain to our people.
In a democratic set up, the Government has to be sensitive to public opinion. Nevertheless, our Government has taken bold decisions. I am in touch with all political party leaders. We will take all Parliamentary groups into confidence. I intend to proceed by developing political consensus in matters relating to economic reforms.
I would like you to note that democratic dispensation is best suited to developing consensus and taking the whole nation forward together. This indeed is my endeavour.
Recently, issues relating to minorities’ rights and implementation of blasphemy laws have been the subject of public debate. Concerns about rising extremist tendencies have also been mentioned.
I believe that these concerns are exaggerated and not entirely in consonance with Pakistan’s overall national ethos.
First, yes we are Muslims and are proud of being Muslims. Islam is a religion of peace and preaches tolerance. Radicalism and extremism is alien to Islam that emphasizes “the middle way”.
It is true that some fringe groups have tried to make political capital from the debate about blasphemy laws. This is a false debate. The real issue is the misuse of the law, for that matter any law by any one. We cannot allow such aberrations to happen.
The tragic assassination of Governor Salman Taseer has underscored the imperative need for the Pakistani society to marginalize and eliminate extremist tendencies.
Extremism of any kind poses a threat to civilized societies. It is anti-thetical to pristine Islamic values. Criminal elements, who seek to create social fissures and win impunity for their hideous acts, will not be allowed to do so.
Pakistani people are moderate, peaceful and progressive in outlook. The overwhelming majority does not subscribe to the distorted views of some demagogues. I recognize that the Government has to play its due role in strongly curbing any tendencies towards intolerance.
While pursuing the politics of reconciliation, we would continue to endeavour to create greater harmony. My Government and my Party is determined to ensure that democratic polity paves the way for complete societal harmony.
Our Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to all citizens irrespective of caste and creed. We have taken steps to empower the minorities politically. I assure you that as equal citizens, the minority communities will be enabled to fully enjoy their fundamental rights.
We have instituted mechanisms to promote human rights. This is foremost in the social agenda of our Government.
You are witnessing a societal transition in Pakistan being reflected, most notably, in the political process; in our Parliament; in the media and in our Judiciary.
I have no doubt that Pakistan is moving fast and in the right direction. Our success in overcoming multiple challenges indicates the resilience of our people and State institutions.
Despite transient economic challenges, Pakistan has enormous potential for socio-economic development. Development remains our first strategic priority. We will pursue reforms. We will also pursue good governance.
We will also endeavour to promote peace and stability in our region.
As friends of Pakistan, we will continue to count on your understanding and support.
Thank you.
Islamabad, 13 January 2011

Photo exhibition on Pakistan earthquake

ANKARA, January 9:  Pakistan’s Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Moin ul Haq along with social worker, medical practitioner and photographer Dr. Ergün Karadağ inaugurated photo exhibition “Moments and Faces from Kashmir” at Ankara on Saturday evening.
The photographic exhibition reflects the traces of the destruction of Pakistan earthquake on the lives and psychology that disaster forms on people. The earthquake that shook the country on October 8th killed over 75000 people and injured people the same amount. Turkish Red Crescent was the first team that ran into help of Pakistan and established a field hospital.
Dr. Ergun was a volunteer in Red Crescent who took these photos. The exhibition will remain open for 10 days at Fotoğraf Balkonu, Ankara 312 Arena, Kizlirmak Caddesi No. 14, Kavaklidere, Ankara.

Photo Exhibition

Your participation is requested to a photographic exhibition by Dr. Ergün Karadağ titled “Moments and Faces from Kashmir” reflecting the traces of the destruction of Pakistan earthquake.

Venue:  Fotoğraf Balkonu exhibition hall, affiliated to Ankara 312 Arena.
Kizlirmak Caddesi No. 14
Kavaklidere, Ankara
 The exhibition inaugurated on 8 January 2011 will remain open for public for next 10 days

Turkey's largest aid ship sails for flood-hit Pakistan

Turkish relief group on 31 December 2010 sent ever-largest humanitarian aid ship to flood-hit Pakistan in a national campaign organized by the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH).
The aid ship "Defne" sailed to Pakistan, which has 4,800 tons of aid materials for the flood victims of Pakistan from Zeyport sea port in Turkey.
It is the largest aid operation at a time, as the ship carries 4 thousand 800 tons of aid to Pakistan. The ship was a part of Gaza Freedom Flotilla that tried to bring aid to besieged Gaza and was attacked by Israeli soldiers in a raid that cost lives of 9 Turkish activists.
Pakistan has yet to recover from the destruction caused by regional monsoon rains that paralyzed the country in July. Thirty million Pakistanis who were affected in the worst floods in Pakistan’s history are still struggling to recover four months on.
Defne ship carries the cargo of dry pulses, winter clothes, tents, blankets, medications, medical equipment and cleaning materials. Total financial value of the aid is 8 million Turkish Liras, IHH officials said. The ship will arrive to Pakistan after 20-day journey and the aid will be distributed to Pakistani flood victims.
"It is the biggest aid campaign by the people of Turkey in modern Turkish history", IHH President Bulent Yildirim said.
"One of the ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Defne is the largest human assistance so far. People from all over Turkey mobilized for the filling of the vessel. Our work for the Pakistani flood victims continue. Prepared in Turkey, this assistance will reach Pakistan about 20 days later," he added.
Source: World Bulletin