Pakistan will always be relevant

The leaders of 28 countries put their heads together to think of a way out of the Afghan quandary at a recently held NATO summit in Chicago. The reality is the international community stands exhausted by more than a decade of war in Afghanistan.

With casualties on both sides and thousands of innocent Afghans killed, the war doesn't seem to be reaching any conclusive end. The half-hearted efforts by the international community have left Afghanistan in complete disarray. Afghans are wary of this war and the miseries it has brought upon them. With an inefficient and corrupt Afghan government, poor governance, a dismal security situation and a poor economy, the success of any quick fixes seems improbable.
The security equation is complicated by the heightened power of the warlords in Afghanistan. The warlords, in collusion with the government and sometimes being directly part of the government, continue to tyrannize people. If not for these warlords and their rampage, the Taliban would have been totally powerless. Back in the 1990s when the Taliban took over Kabul and much of Afghanistan, its success had more to do with the disenchantment of common Afghans with the warlords and less with the Taliban's God-forsaken ideology. Now it is déjà vu all over again. The ruthlessness of warlords has put the Afghans into the hands of the Taliban and strengthened them.
The incidents of the killing of NATO troops by their Afghan compatriots have increased recently, making things more complicated. This reflects the lack of trust Afghans feel towards the foreign forces. Professor Azmat Hayat Khan, former vice chancellor of Peshawar University in Pakistan and an expert on Afghanistan and Central Asia, singles out distrust as the most important factor in the current situation. He believes that distrust and misunderstandings debar any meaningful development in Afghanistan. The distrust factor does not remain limited to what Afghans feel toward foreign forces, it perpetuates ad infinitum -- between the Afghan people and the Afghan government, between the ethnic groups within Afghanistan and between regional countries and the United States/NATO. Dr. Hayat's insights were based on a field study he conducted.
Part of the Afghan debacle is also the absence of a regional approach. The immediate neighbors of Afghanistan have much at stake lest the instability in Afghanistan cross over into their countries. The continued presence of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Iran is burdensome and the arrival of more once NATO withdraws and chaos engulfs Afghanistan continues to worry them.
No outside country is affected more by the conflict in Afghanistan than Pakistan. Pakistan was invited at the last minute to the NATO summit. Partly explaining this last-minute invitation was speculation going around that Pakistan might be kept out of any Afghan solution. The international community is at the risk of making a grave mistake. Pakistan is part of the solution. The ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan run deep.
Notwithstanding the geographical proximity and the demographic commonality, the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan are knotted together in a solid bond of affiliation. Afghans call Pakistan their second home. After the Afghan-Soviet war, 3 million Afghans took refuge in Pakistan. Over three long decades, a whole generation of Afghans were born, raised and educated in Pakistan. There was no restriction on the movement of Afghan people within Pakistan, neither in business nor in education. Many of these Afghans have been assimilated into Pakistani society.
Dr. Hayat says the largest number of foreign professionals and educated people in Afghanistan comes from Pakistan. Currently, thousands of Afghan refugees are studying in Pakistan's universities. Two million Afghans continue to live in Pakistan. Many Afghans have moved back to their homeland but have left their families behind in Pakistan. This is Pakistan's biggest investment in Afghanistan and this has not come without a price. It was not easy playing host to millions of Afghans: At one time there were more than 5 million Afghans living in Pakistan. If the international community thinks it is easy to cut the umbilical cord of millions of Afghans, it is sadly mistaken.
A Western-tailored approach has not worked and will not do so in the future. There is a need to understand the working of Afghan society and find an Afghan-oriented solution. Afghan society is a tribal society and the rule of any one tribe or ethnicity will not be acceptable to the rest, highlighting the need for a broad-based government there. The regional perspective that has largely been ignored must be pursued. Many ethnic communities in Afghanistan extend beyond Afghan borders into the neighboring countries. These cultural similarities and this geographical proximity demand a different approach, one that takes care of the legitimate concerns of neighboring countries. A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in everybody's best interests and, most importantly, in Pakistan's best interests.
Maria Syed is a writer and works for the Islamabad Policy Research Institute in Pakistan.
Courtesy: Today's Zaman, 31 May 2012


Reaffirming close, friendly and brotherly ties which are deeply rooted in history, and a shared culture;
Acknowledging that these brotherly bonds which have stood the test of time and transcend geographical distances are developing into a robust, strong and strategic partnership;
Recognizing that the two countries share a common vision and desire for peace and prosperity of their people and their region;
Recalling the Joint Political Declaration on Intensified Cooperation and Establishment of High Level Cooperation Council signed in Islamabad in October 2009 and the Joint Declaration on Enhancing Pakistan-Turkey Partnership signed in Ankara in December 2010;
Desirous of giving further impetus to the excellent relations between the two countries and for translating the gains arising out of their partnership for peace and prosperity into a more meaningful, mutually beneficial, long term cooperation in the economic and commercial areas;
Endorsing the results of the meetings of Joint Working Groups of the High Level Cooperation Council held in Islamabad on 19 and 20 May 2012 and at the 14th Joint Economic Commission held in in Islamabad on 21 May 2012,

We as the co-chairs of the Second Meeting of High Level Cooperation Council held in Islamabad, on 22nd May 2012 with the participation of:

H.E. Bekir Bozdağ, Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Erdoğan Bayraktar, Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, H.E. Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy, H.E. Taner Yıldız, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, H.E. Binali Yıldırım, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications,

H.E. Mr. Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister of Commerce,  H.E. Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, H.E. Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power, H.E. Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan,  Minister for Communications, H.E. Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, H.E. Ms. Samina Khalid Ghurki, Minister for National Heritage and Integration, H.E. Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination, H.E. Mr. Nazar Mohammad Gondal, Minister for CADD, Minister-in-Waiting, H.E. Mr. Salim H.  Mandviwalla, Chairman Board of  Investment, H.E. Nawabzada Malik Amad, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,

 Members of Parliaments as well as other prominent dignitaries and officials,

Agreed as follows:

Political Cooperation
The High Level Cooperation Council shall continue to be utilized as a major political forum to steer bilateral relations in all spheres.
Intensive exchanges at the leadership level, parliamentarians, media representatives and businessmen shall be furthered.
Mutual support at regional and international forums shall be continued.

Annual consultations at the level of Foreign Ministers would be held alternately in Ankara and Islamabad. The first meeting will be hosted by Pakistan in Islamabad in the last quarter of 2012.

Security and Defence Cooperation
Cooperation between the security agencies of the two countries would be broadened in the fields of counter terrorism and drug trafficking especially in the areas of capacity building and exchange of experience.
The armed forces of the two countries would intensify their ongoing cooperation while defence related industries would focus on joint defence production and related research and development activities.

Finance and Banking
Cooperation in the following areas shall be extended through exchange of information and experience:
Banking sector including Islamic banking, microfinance banking, trainings and exchange visits;
Insurance sector including insurance information center, catastrophe insurance, insurance arbitration methods and private pension system;
Capital market regulation, instruments and their implementation;
Public debt and risk management systems;
Budget (Performance Based Budgeting), Financial Reporting and Internal Financial Control.
Cooperation between the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) of Turkey and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of Pakistan in the field of anti money laundering and terrorism financing shall be strengthened by sharing information.
Means of collaboration between Istanbul Stock Exchange and Karachi Stock Exchange with a view to facilitate cross border listing and portfolio investment, and establishing an electronic exchange link to have trading in stocks listed at both exchanges shall be explored.
Implementation of the Currency Swap Arrangement for mutual cooperation signed between the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey and the State Bank of Pakistan shall be furthered to maximize benefits.

The existing volume of trade between the two countries does not reflect the real potential of their respective economies. Therefore, all possible efforts to further promote and diversification of bilateral trade shall be exerted, including facilitation of transportation of merchandise as well as conclusion of bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement.
In order to create mutually agreed facilitative frameworks to substantially enhance economic and commercial relations, the concerned Ministries of the two countries were directed to conclude their technical discussions expeditiously in order to finalize a comprehensive PTA as soon as possible, which would provide comparative advantage to entrepreneurs from both sides.
Welcome the conclusion of the treaty on Protection and Promotion of Investments. Call on the corporate sectors of the two countries to invest through joint ventures in the fields of energy, construction, steel production, urban development and agro based industry.
Exchange of delegations with a view to enhance bilateral trade and investment in textile and textile machinery, automotive and agricultural industry, food processing industry and all other potential trade and investment sectors shall be encouraged.
Pakistan will provide special incentive packages and establish Exclusive Investment Zones for the Turkish companies desirous of investing in Pakistan.
Mutual cooperation for further development of economic ties with the Central Asian countries and smooth functioning of regional cooperation initiatives shall be continued.
Next meeting of the Turkey-Pakistan Joint Business Council shall be held in September 2012 or in March 2013 in Turkey which will bring up new trade and investment opportunities in both countries.

Railways and Communications
Bilateral cooperation to facilitate transit trade and improvement of transport corridors, ship building and repairs, Vessel Tracking System, road construction projects, up-gradation of railway rolling stock and locomotives shall be further enhanced.
Training of transport officials for capacity building and exchange of visits of technical experts shall be supported.
An improved and efficient rail and road network was important for the promotion of trade and economic linkages. In this respect, operations of Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Container Train (ECO Train) on a regular and timely basis with the participation of private sectors should be ensured.
Turkey’s strength and expertise in the area of road transport would be utilized for further cooperation in this field.
The two countries would explore possibilities of cooperation in the field of Railways including running of High Speed Trains as well as production and repair of passenger and cargo wagons.

Cooperation in power generation shall be developed through strengthening of information sharing on energy projects and facilitation of private sector involvement.
A meeting will be held in Turkey before the end of 2012 to develop cooperation in the field of renewable energy.
Cooperation in the field of geothermal sources, geo-information systems (GIS) and remote sensing shall be developed through exchange of scientific and technical information, exchange of expertise, study visits and training.
Cooperation in the fields of coal mining and trade of petroleum products shall be strengthened.
A Plan of Action on cooperation in the energy sector would be drawn up as agreed during the meeting of the President of the Republic of Turkey and the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Islamabad on 2 April 2010. The Joint Working Group on Energy would work on the Plan of Action and would present its recommendations to the next HLCC.
The private Pakistani and Turkish companies would be encouraged to set up hydro electric power stations and sub stations on turn-key basis.
The two countries would collaborate in the field of renewable and clean energy including wind, solar, geothermal and biogas. The MoU on cooperation in the field of renewable energy signed during the 2nd meeting of HLCC would serve as the basis for this cooperation.

Turkey shall supply teachers, curriculum and training materials for Turkish language courses, provided that the Turkish language be introduced in curriculum in Pakistan.
Turkey shall provide for training of trainers for general as well as technical and vocational education.
Experience shall be shared on developing curricula and list of standards, training materials for use in vocational and technical training schools.
A Joint Working Group on Technical and Vocational Training will be constituted and the Terms of Reference will be mutually decided through diplomatic channels.
A new exchange programme for civil experts in fields such as energy, transport, agriculture, security services and public administration shall be initiated. This programme shall provide on the job training opportunities to contribute capacity building.
Scholarships schemes would be reviewed keeping in view the needs of the students and to place more focus on science and technology education.
The proposal to set up Techno parks through cooperation between universities and the corporate sector would be pursued vigorously.

Culture and Tourism
The years 2013-2014 shall be celebrated as cultural years in both the countries with a view to underline cultural commonalties and historic relations of their people.
Cooperation in the field of media should be strengthened through sharing of news and information, exchanges of television programmes and documentaries. In this respect, the MoUs already signed between the state media should be vigorously followed.
Film days and exchange of cultural troupes to promote performing arts of two nations and exhibitions of paintings, calligraphies, miniature arts, photographs and folks crafts shall be organized in both countries. Direct contact between museums and institutions as well as exchange of literary work, publication and translation of respective literature of Turkey and Pakistan shall be encouraged
The Government of Pakistan shall offer a free ethnographic corner to Turkey in Pakistani museums.
Turkey intends to open a cultural center in Pakistan in near future and welcomes the same initiative from Pakistan.
Keeping in view their diversified cultures and geographical features Turkey and Pakistan shall cooperate in the area of tourism.  In this framework, Turkey and Pakistan shall participate in tourism fairs organized in both countries.  Both sides shall invite their tour operators to familiarize them with their touristic destination. Turkey offers training for managers and officials in tourism sector of Pakistan.

Implementation Modalities
The seven Joint Working Groups of the High Level Cooperation Council shall continue their work to develop specific programmes and projects.
During the Second Meeting of High Level Cooperation Council, a number of MoUs/agreements on cooperation in various fields were signed. The list is annexed.
The next meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council shall be held in Ankara in 2013. The dates shall be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.
Done in Islamabad on 22 May 2012 in Turkish and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey

Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani                   
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

List of MoUs/Agreements

1.      Memorandum of Understanding on Solid Waste Management between Karachi Municipality and Albayrak Holding
2.      Protocol between Middle East Technical University and Quaid-i Azam University
3.      Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Archives between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
4.      Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Concerning the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments
5.      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in the Field of Urbanization
6.      Framework Document Between Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of the Republic of Turkey and Ministry of Communications of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Concerning Cooperation in the Field of International Road Transport
7.      Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy
8.      Joint Economic Commission Protocol
9.      Joint Declaration of the Second Meeting of Turkey-Pakistan High Level Cooperation Council

Pakistan, Turkey ink 9 accords of cooperation

ISLAMABAD, May 22 (APP): Pakistan and Turkey on Tuesday signed nine documents for cooperation in various fields particularly investments, energy and communications in a bid to further strengthen their bilateral relationship.Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan witnessed the signing of accords at a ceremony held here at the Prime Minister House. The documents included an Agreement on bilateral investment, five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) mainly on energy, education and communication and two protocols on Joint Ministerial Commission and cooperation on archives.The Agreement concerning the reciprocal Promotion and Protection of  Investments was signed by Chairman Board of Investment, Saleem Mandviwala and Turkey’s Economic Minister, Zafar Caglayan.The MoU between the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Turkey and Pakistan’s Ministry of Communications on cooperation in the field of International Road Transport was signed by Turkish Transport Minister, Binali Yildrim and Minister for Communications, Arbab Alamgir Khan.

Turkish Prime Minister conferred PhD degree

ISLAMABAD, May 22: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was conferred honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations from the Quaid-e-Azam University. Acting President Nayyer Hussain Bokhari conferred the honorary PhD degree upon the Turkish Prime Minister during a special convocation held at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, members of the Federal Cabinet, diplomats and other officials besides the academic staff of the Quaid-e-Azam University were also present on the occasion.The doctorate degree was conferred upon the visiting Turkish Prime Minister to honour his efforts in promoting understanding between civilizations, interfaith harmony, tolerance, freedom, democracy and human rights as reflected in Turkey’s dynamic foreign policy under his leadership.

The Turkish Model and Pakistan - by Amb. Haroon Shaukat

The people and the leadership of Pakistan are eagerly awaiting to extend a warm welcome to His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his forthcoming fifth visit to Pakistan next week.
Pakistan and
Turkey enjoy a very special relationship, which is steeped in history and is built upon many commonalities, especially of culture, human values, traditions and faith. The real strength of the relationship is the love and affection and eternal bonds between the peoples of the two countries, which have only deepened with the passage of time. This unmatched relationship predates the creation of Pakistan and Turkey as modern states. The two countries are truly an extension of the same nation.
In good and bad times the two countries have closely stood by each other. How can the Pakistani nation ever forget the extraordinary support and assistance extended to it by its Turkish brethren during the recent natural calamities: the devastating earthquake of 2005 and the unprecedented floods of the last two years? It was not just the substantial material support, but also the sharing of pain and anguish felt by the Turkish people and experienced equally and deeply by His Excellency Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his distinguished lady Madam Emine Erdoğan, which touched the hearts of every Pakistani.
The Pakistani people take great pride in the strength and the rise of
Turkey under the charismatic leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan. Turkey’s economic miracle, which has lifted it to become the 16th largest economy in the world, has become a model for Pakistan and also for many other countries seeking the path of rapid social and economic progress. It is just not the tripling of per-capita income of the Turkish people, it is equally and perhaps more importantly the social dimensions of development in Turkey that are fascinating. The rapid rise in the quality of life of the Turkish people - underpinned by an extensive Social Security Program, quality education at all levels and the availability of affordable health coverage, the massive upgrading of infrastructure, including roads, rail, air travel and communications, and urban services like efficient public transport - are all great successes to emulate.
Further deepening and diversifying bilateral cooperation and strategic partnership is a mutually shared priority. The formation of the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) in December 2010, which is co-chaired by the prime ministers of the two countries, has become an important vehicle to give impetus to multi-dimensional bilateral cooperation and collaboration. The focus has rightly shifted to strengthening commercial and economic ties in recent years.

Pakistan, with a population of over 180 million people and endowed with excellent human and material sources, is a potential economic power house. In the last decade, Pakistan has suffered enormous economic and social losses as the lead country in the global campaign against terrorism and extremism. Our net economic losses in this period are over $80 billion. Despite these difficulties however, the Pakistani nation is determined and resilient. Under the current democratic government, the institutions of state have been strengthened. Today, democracy in the country is deeply entrenched. We have a robust and vibrant civil society, a free and dynamic media and a strong and independent judiciary. These inherent strengths are a bulwark against the evil forces of terror.
These institutional strengths are also positioning Pakistan toward the path of economic recovery and rapid socio-economic development. Indeed, the challenges and difficulties are enormous. However, Pakistan does possess the potential and wherewithal to bring about an economic turn-around of its own.
In this context, partnership with
Turkey is vital. Turkey today is both a model and a potent partner in virtually all sectors. The two governments are vigorously working on parallel tracks of (a) providing facilitative legal frameworks and (b) creating an effective interface between the private sectors of the two countries.
Pakistan offers enormous potential for investments and joint ventures by Turkish entrepreneurs in sectors like energy, construction, infrastructure, textiles, agriculture and agro-based industry especially dairy products, transport, communications and manufacturing. Equally important are services sectors like banking, investment companies, telecommunications, etc.
Pakistan and
Turkey are two important and strong countries, especially in the Islamic world. Both are important pillars of stability in the broader region.
His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Pakistan holds great promise for transforming Pakistan-Turkey relations into a comprehensive 21st century partnership.
Muhammad Haroon Shaukat is the Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey.

Courtesy: Hurriyet Daily News, 18 May 2012

Turkey and Pakistan enhance relations with cooperation deals

A Turkish delegation headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed nine protocols and a joint declaration that aim to bring a new momentum to Turkish-Pakistani relations by enhancing cooperation in the fields of the economy, energy, transportation and tourism.
Erdoğan was received by his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani in an official ceremony and the two held a private talk. Following that, the two leaders attend the second Turkey-Pakistan High-Level Cooperation Council meeting, where the two countries signed the agreements that would prepare the grounds for improved cooperation between the two countries. The accompanying Turkish ministers on Erdoğan's two-day visit to Pakistan, including Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yildirim, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız and Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, signed the agreements.
The ministers of the two countries put their signatures on an economic committee protocol, an agreement on cooperation on renewable energy, a framework agreement for cooperation on transportation, an agreement on incentives for mutual investments, a memorandum on the establishment of a technopark between ODTÜ (Middle East Technical University) and Quaid-i-Azam University, a memorandum of understanding on urbanization and an agreement between Karachi Municipality and Albayrak Holding.
Meanwhile, an upcoming Turkey-Pakistan Business Council meeting to be held in Turkey was announced, the date of which will be specified at some point in the future, as mentioned in the joint declaration. The declaration also foresaw the organization of annual bilateral meetings between the two countries at foreign ministerial level and announced the first meeting of its kind for the coming fall in İstanbul.
Erdoğan and his counterpart Gilani emphasized a deep fraternity stemming from old cultural and historical ties between the two countries, which are “tested by time” and “exceeding geographical distances” and evolving into a strong strategic partnership.
The joint declaration also noted that the two countries will enhance the continuing military partnership as well as cooperation in the fights against terrorism and drug trafficking, with a special focus on common research and development techniques in the defense industry.
During a joint press appearance with Gilani on Tuesday, Erdoğan also touched upon the future of the 11-year NATO Afghan mission.
“The target [for the end of NATO’s Afghanistan mission] seems to be the end of 2014, but it is not a confirmed date,” Erdoğan maintained. Erdoğan claimed that Turkey will never leave Afghanistan on its own and will be in the country until their “Afghan brothers” say the Turkish mission is done.
The contributing countries plan to aid Afghanistan to a large extent in order to bring it up to a level of self-sufficiency, which would prepare the ground for a withdrawal, as was discussed at the recent landmark NATO summit in Chicago.
Erdoğan also delivered an apology from the US to Pakistan for a tragic mistake which claimed the lives of 24 Pakistani soldiers. Pakistan closed its border after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in US airstrikes on the Afghan border in November.
Claiming that to normalize ties with NATO and to re-open borders is “in Pakistan’s own discretion,” Erdoğan asserted that, “on Turkey’s behalf as a NATO member,” the issues should be resolved on the basis of mutual understanding between the parties.
Turkey’s recent push for Pakistani participation in the recent NATO summit ended in a last-minute invitation to President Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistan’s participation raised hopes that the country may be ready to reopen its border so that the US and NATO can dispatch military supplies to neighboring Afghanistan.
Courtesy: Today's Zaman, 23 May 2012

Prime Minister Gilani’s opening remarks at HLCC Session with Turkish Prime Minister

ISLAMABAD, 22 May 2012: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that establishment of the HLCC between Pakistan and Turkey symbolizes the close and special nature of Pakistan-Turkey relations. He said it also reflects the shared common vision of the leaderships to give a future-oriented strategic outlook to our bilateral relations. I feel privileged to be part of this process from its inception, he added.
Following is the text of Prime Minister’s opening remarks at HLCC Session co-chaired by Pak-Turkish Premiers at Prime Minister’s House on 22 May 2012.
Excellency, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey,
Members of the Turkish delegation,
Dear colleagues,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome your Excellency and your delegation to Islamabad for the 2nd Meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC).

The inaugural session of the HLCC, held in Ankara in 2010 was a watershed. The 18 MoUs/Agreementencompassing a broad range of areas, signed on the occasion, marked anauspicious starting point.
Today’s meeting represents yet another significant milestone in this process. As wemove forward, I believe that it is also an occasion to look back and take stockof the current status of the ongoing initiatives and as well as chart a newpath towards a more comprehensive partnership especially in the economic andcommercial domains.
While it is a matter of satisfaction that our trade volume surpassed US $ one billionfor the first time in 2011, yet the decline in the trade figures for the firstquarter of 2012 is a worrisome development. This underlines the need for takingadditional measures not only to arrest this trend but also to provide necessarystimulus for further intensification of bilateral commercial and trade ties.
This makes it even more imperative that facilitative economic framework providingmutual comparative advantage to our business communities should be put in place.It is Pakistan’s strong desire that a comprehensive PreferentialTrade Agreement (PTA) should be concluded at the earliest. It would serve as avehicle to substantially enhance bilateral trade. The two countries also needto discuss expanding the scope of exportable items. It is equally important tohave mutual exemptions from antidumping, countervailing & safeguard dutieswithin the framework of the PTA.
I would request Your Excellency’s personal intervention for an early agreement onthe outstanding issues.

Pakistan offers immense opportunities for foreign investmentsin diverse sector. We would welcome more Turkish investments in the fields ofinfrastructure, energy, housing communications and agro-based industry. We arewilling to consider offering special incentive packages and establishingtax-free investment zones for Turkish investors.
We should also encourage our central banks to facilitate opening of bank branchesin each other’s country. We are happy that the Central Bank of our twocountries concluded a Currency Swap Agreement last year which will providealternate trading facilities in our respective local currencies.

For promotion of economic and commercial relations, efficient and fast air, railand road links are essential. In this respect, the “Gul Train” project between Islamabad and Istanbul holds great potential to serve as a modern day “silkroute” linking the Asian heartland with Europe. We must encourage our private sectors to invest in the management andmarketing of the train operations, and upgrading of the railwaysinfrastructure. It is our desire that Turkey would take the lead on this project of immenseimportance for our common future.

Our excellent and brotherly ties need to be sustained and reinforced throughinvestment in our future generations. The two sides are working on acomprehensive Cultural Exchange Programme, which will provide a broad frameworkfor cooperation in the fields of education, culture, tourism and people topeople contacts.
A large number of Pakistani students are proud graduates of Turkish universities.However, there still exists a wide scope of further cooperation. Pakistan could, in particular, benefit from the excellencethat Turkey has achieved in its higher education system. Wewould, therefore, request enhanced scholarships for Pakistani students atUndergraduate, Postgraduate and PhD levels, particularly in leading science andtechnology universities.
We would also welcome establishing of campuses of leading Turkish technologyuniversities in Pakistan. We are ready to provide necessary support in thisrespect. Collaboration in the education sector should also be strengthened bysetting up joint techno-parks.

A positive momentum in our relationship has been generated through the HLCCmechanism. By building on this momentum, we should lay the foundation for asustained partnership for our future generations.
The 14th Session of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) heldyesterday in Islamabad has also covered useful ground. We look forward toreceiving a briefing from the two co-chairs of the JMC.
May I also like this opportunity to assure Your Excellency that Pakistan is ready to go an extra mile in supporting andimplementing the decisions that we take during this meeting.

İslamabad'da Erdoğan rüzgarı esiyor haberi

Pakistan’ın başkenti İslamabad’ın caddelerine Başbakan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sevgisi yansıdı.

Resmi temaslarda bulunmak üzere Pakistan’a gelen Erdoğan’ın resimleri başta kaldığı Serena Oteli ve çevresindeki caddelerde olmak üzere başkentin birçok caddesini süslüyor.
Otelin girişi ve çevresindeki caddeler de Başbakan Erdoğan’ın resimleriyle birlikte Pakistan Cumhurbaşkanı Asıf Ali Zerdari ve Başbakan Yusuf Rıza Gilani’nin de resimleri asıldı. Otelin hemen girişine aslına Erdoğan, Zerdari ve Gikani’nin dev portesi ise dikkat çekti.
Başbakan Erdoğan’ın ziyaretini değerlendiren Fazıl Hakimi isimli Pakistan vatandaşı iki ülke ilişkililerinin kardeşlik zemini üzerine kurulduğunu aktardı.
Hakimi ,“Bizim yakınlığımız, dostluğumuz çok eskiye dayanıyor. Dosttan ziyade kardeş ülkeleriz. Birbirine çok benzeyen halklarız. Erdoğan’a büyük bir memnuniyetle ‘hoş geldiniz’ diyorum” ifadesini kullandı.
Başbakan Erdoğan bugün öğleden sonra Pakistan Parlamentosu’nda Temsilciler Meclisi ile Senato’nun birleşik oturumunda konuşma yapacak.
Erdoğan’a Pakistan ziyaretinde eşi Emine Erdoğan, kızı Sümeyye Erdoğan, Çevre ve Şehircilik Bakanı Erdoğan Bayraktar, Başbakan Yardımcısı Bekir Bozdağ, Ekonomi Bakanı Zafer Çağlayan, Enerji ve Tabii Kaynaklar Bakanı Taner Yıldız, Ulaştırma, Denizcilik ve Haberleşme Bakanı Binali Yıldırım ile AK Parti Genel Başkan Yardımcısı Ömer Çelik eşlik ediyor. Devam....

Turkish Prime Minister to visit Pakistan on invitation of PM Gilani

ANKARA, (17 May 2012): On the invitation of Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a 3-day official visit to Pakistan from May 20 to May 22, 2012. The Turkish Prime Minister will be accompanied by the First Lady and high-powered delegation.
 The Turkish Prime Minister will co-chair the second High Level Cooperation Council meeting along with Prime Minister Gilani in Islamabad. Both the leaders will address a joint press conference on after witnessing the signing of various Agreements of Cooperation between the two countries.
 It may be mentioned here that the first High Level Cooperation Council Meeting was held in Ankara in December 2010 in which Prime Minister Gilani represented Pakistan.
 During his visit, the Turkish Prime Minister will also address the joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament.

Taksim'de süslü bir otobüs!

Pakistanlı sanatçılar tarafından geleneksel Pakistan süsleme sanatıyla (Karaçi) boyanan İETT otobüsü, Türkiye-Pakistan dostluğunu tanıtacak.
Bir süre 'tarihi yarımada' olarak bilinen bölgede çalışacak otobüs, daha sonra Pakistan’a hediye edilecek. Pakistan’ın ünlü sanatçıları tarafından, Karaçi sanatıyla boyanan belediye otobüsü, Pakistan Haftası etkinlikleri çerçevesinde Taksim Meydanı’nda sergilendi. Programa İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Başkanvekili Ahmet Selamet, Pakistan İstanbul Başkonsolosu Yusuf Juniad, İETT Genel Müdürü Hayri Baraçlı katıldı.
Törende konuşan İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Başkanvekili Ahmet Selamet, Pakistan’da dünyada eşi benzeri görülmeyen rengarenk kamyonetlerin görüldüğünü ve bunun da Pakistan’ın önemli bir kültürü olduğunu söyledi.
Bu süsleme sanatını İstanbullulara tanıtmak istediklerini belirten Selamet, “Pakistanlı sanatçılar tarafından hazırlanan bu otobüsü İstanbulluların beğenisine sunduk. Zaten iki ülke halkı arasında büyük bir yakınlık var, bu bağ tarihi bir derinliğe de sahip aynı zamanda.” diye konuştu.
Selamet, iki ülke halkının da zor zamanlarında birbirlerinin yanında olduğunu belirtti.
Yapılan etkinliğin Türkiye ile Pakistan arasındaki köklü ilişkilerin teyidi anlamını taşıdığını dile getiren Pakistan İstanbul Başkonsolosu Yusuf Juniad, “İki ayrı ülke olsak da aynı millet gibiyiz. Aynı çarpan iki yürek gibi, iki yürekle yaşayan bir ruh gibiyiz. Tarihimizin geçmişinde her iki ülkenin de güçlükle karşılaştığı zamanda birbirinin yanında olmayı bilmiş. Birbirine destek vermiş iki ulusuz.” ifadelerini kullandı. Törenin ardından Ahmet Selamet, Yusuf Juniad, Hayri Baraçlı ve diğer yetkililer tanıtımı yapılan araçla şehir turu yaptı. Turizm için İstanbul’a gelen Pakistanlılar da ülkelerinin sanatıyla süslenmiş otobüsü görünce şaşkına döndü. İstanbul’a bir hafta için geldiğini ancak İstanbul’u çok sevdiği için tatilini uzatmayı düşündüğünü aktaran Hanbibi İbrahim isimli Pakistanlı kadın, “Daha önceden bilmiyordum tabi, buraya geldiğimizde sanki kendi otobüsümüzü gördük gibi geldi. Çok sevindik çok duygulandık.” diye konuştu.
Pakistanlı sanatçılar tarafından Pakistan’ın kültürel süsleme sanatıyla boyanan otobüste iki ülkenin tarihi ve turistik mekanları resmedildi. İki ülkenin kültürel motiflerini de barındıran otobüs bir süre İstanbul sokaklarında hizmet verdikten sonra Pakistan’a gidecek ve Türkiye-Pakistan dostluğunu tanıtacak .

Pakistan’s largest trade chamber to organize trade fair from 13-15 July 2012

ANKARA, 2 May 2012:  Pakistan’s largest trade chamber – The Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with Sindh Government is organizing a trade fair “My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony’ to be held at Karachi Expo Centre from 13-15th July 2012.
The trade fair offers opportunities for international businessmen to expand their business horizon and profile in Pakistan. Opportunities exist as exhibitor, visitors for trade, and partnership.  The event is aimed at enhancing bilateral/multilateral trade with friendly countries and provides an excellent opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of Pakistani export sector in one of the largest cities of the world.
The 9th sequel of “My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony Exhibition’ offers avenues of business-to-business linkages and business-to-consumer relationship. A special International Pavilion is marked for international exhibitors from friendly countries. About 600,000 visitors and business people are expected to visit the three day event.  
Interested businessmen and investors may wish to visit the exhibition website for further information. Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul (Tel: 0212 324 5827, Fax: 0212 324 5170, email could also be approached for further information and assistance.
Pakistan is ranked as the world’s 6th largest populous country and its economy is ranked as 27th largest economy in the world. Its trained human resource and growing middle class are attraction for foreign investors. Other incentives include tax holidays, repatriation of profits, 100% foreign equity and only 0-5% custom duty on plant, machinery and equipment.