Written by admin on Friday, February 24th, 2017

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

Pakistan, Turkey agree to combat racism, Islamophobia together
Source: The News International
Friday, February 24, 2017

ANKARA: Pakistan and Turkey have resolved to continue working together on issues of common interest, including the multilateral initiatives to combat growing trends of racism, Islamophobia, and discrimination based on religion and stereotyping against Muslims.

This resolve was expressed in a joint declaration between the two countries issued here on Thursday. The understanding came during the 5th meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) of the two countries at the Prime Minister House. It was co-chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim.

The joint declaration stressed the need for resolution of all outstanding differences between Pakistan and India, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir, through a sustained dialogue process and in accordance with the UN resolutions.

The declaration reiterated the need for making the United Nations Security Council more representative, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable through comprehensive United Nations Security Council reform process, based on widest possible consensus.

The two sides shall continue military cooperation in spheres of joint defense production and research and development activities. The two sides will expeditiously complete the work on developing a comprehensive, long-term and forward-looking framework for defense cooperation.

It said cooperation shall be enhanced to further promote global disarmament and non-proliferation objectives to safeguard and strengthen international and regional security and promote strategic stability.

In this connection, Turkey appreciates Pakistan’s announcement of adherence to the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which will further the global non-proliferation objective.

It was also agreed to continue cooperation between the police agencies of the two countries and an effective mechanism shall be developed in combating cyber-crimes and transnational organized crimes, and mutual information exchange to prevent these crimes. The two countries vowed to enhance cooperation in the energy, trade, banking, finance, development, transport, and communication, postal, and telecom sectors.

The declaration also stressed enhanced cooperation in combating the adverse effects of climate change and global warming. Turkey will provide necessary assistance to the relevant Pakistani authorities in the field of development of social housing projects, with technical expertise, experience sharing and exchange of experts.

The two sides also agreed to enhance interaction between universities and academic institutions and collaboration on higher education scholarships shall be continued. Both the countries shall work towards recognizing degrees and diplomas within the framework of the laws and regulations of their countries and exchange necessary information on the subject.

Cultural relations between the two countries shall be strengthened through Yunus Emre Cultural Centers which are to commence functions in Karachi and Lahore and Pakistani Cultural Centers which are to be established in Turkey.

Renewal of the Cooperation Protocols among Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT), Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) shall re-establish the necessary framework for further cooperation in the field of press and information.

Pakistan and Turkey have reaffirmed their joint commitment to continue to transform their special relationship into a strong strategic partnership.

Speaking at their joint press take out, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the two sides agreed to forge cooperation in diverse fields including political, economic, defence, investment, energy, development, security, communication, education, culture and tourism.

He expressed the confidence that agreements and Memoranda of Understanding signed on Thursday would reinforce the process of taking the relationship to new heights.

Nawaz hoped that the Turkish private sector would take benefit of vast opportunities in Pakistan especially its impressive outlook and focus on regional connectivity, infrastructure development, and industry and transport sectors.

He said as Pakistan and Turkey celebrate 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year, they would further intensify and enrich their people to people exchanges.

He was confident that enduring bilateral ties based on common bonds of faith, history and culture and inspired by shared commitment to democracy, peace and development would continue to grow from strength to strength.

He pointed out that Pakistan and Turkey are two pivotal states located in strategic regions facing multiple threats and challenges.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he had apprised his Turkish counterpart of the security environment in the region and Pakistan’s endeavours for peace, stability and economic development. He said he also conveyed Pakistan’s deep gratitude to Turkey for its consistent support on Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan side reaffirmed its abiding support for Turkish position on Cyprus. The Prime Minister said he also thanked Turkey’s principled position on the issues of strategic stability in South Asia.

The prime minister said that Pakistan remains committed to pursuing cooperative ties with India and Afghanistan as part of its vision of peaceful neighbourhood.

He said that Pakistan and Turkey had shared concern over attempts to link Islam and terrorism and resolved to intensify their joint endeavours to combat growing Islamophobia.

Nawaz reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding solidarity with Turkey. He particularly reiterated Pakistan’s strong condemnation of the heinous coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, last year and lauded Turkish people for their defence of democracy.

The prime minister emphasized that Turkey’s enemies are Pakistan’s enemies. Nawaz said he was certain that Turkey and its leadership would defeat all threats to their security and moves to undermine the economic or designs to change perception.

He said terrorism was a common enemy. Recently, in Pakistan, terrorist targeted Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, which is a symbol of progressive thought, peace and love. Earlier Pakistan and Turkey signed eleven agreements and MoUs for cooperation in different fields on the occasion.

The two Prime Ministers witnessed the signing ceremony.

The agreements and MoUs were signed in the fields of hydro carbons, environment, forestry, information, exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering, exchange of armed forces personnel.

The two prime ministers inked joint declaration of the fifth meeting of the HLSCC. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim co-chaired the meeting. Six Joint Working Groups (JWGs) operating under the Council met prior to the main session. The reports on their deliberations and outcomes were presented in the meeting.

These JWGs relate to: Trade and Investment; Energy; Finance and Banking; Transport and Communications; Culture and Tourism; and Education. Based on the reports of the Working Groups, the decisions taken by the co-chairs will be reflected in the Joint Declaration.

The HLSCC, established during the visit of the then Prime Minister Erdogan to Pakistan in October 2009, is the highest level institutional mechanism between Pakistan and Turkey.

The purpose of establishing HLSCC was to fully explore and build upon shared interests, maximize cooperation on mutual priorities, and reinforce the already profound and unique relationship between the two countries in a structured manner.

Pakistan delegation comprises Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastagir, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resource Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Syed Tariq Fatemi.

Nawaz was warmly received when he reached Cankaya Palace in Ankara for 5th Session of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

He was greeted by the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. A smartly turned out contingent of Turkish forces presented guard of honour to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister inspected the guard of honour and took the salute.


Leave a Comment

« | Home | »