ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Fethullah Terror Organisation (Feto) is a threat to Pakistan's security.
Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Thursday, Erdogan said Turkey was in the process of warning all its allies against the 'terrorist' organisation led US-based Fethullah Gulen.
"Gulen’s terrorist organisation is a threat to the peace and security in Pakistan," he said, while thanking Pakistan's government for taking action against the organisation concerned.
Erdogan landed in Islamabad on Wednesday, embarking on a two-day visit — his first to Pakistan since an attempted military coup failed to dislodge him from power earlier this year.
One to one meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. pic.twitter.com/dyWExFnsvu— PML(N) (@pmln_org) November 17, 2016
On the occasion, the prime minister said "fraternal ties between Pakistan and Turkey are unique and unparalleled".
"As you all know, 2017 marks the 70th year of Pakistan-Turkey diplomatic relations, and we have decided to celebrate this historic milestone," he said, adding Pakistan is a second home to the people of Turkey.
Appreciating Turkey's bid for Pakistan to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), PM Nawaz said it helped "strengthen Pakistan's position."
He added, "We believe that the close relationship shared by the two countries serves as a stability factor in the region."
Reffering to the ongoing tensions in Indian-held Kashmir, the premier said, "I want to update you on the situation in occupied Kashmir and I thank the Turkish president for his support in building a peaceful neighbourhood in the region.
"Worst human rights atrocities are being committed in IoK," he added.
'Kashmir issue can no longer be ignored'
During the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders, Erdogan and Nawaz also touched upon developments in Kashmir.
"Our brother and sisters in Kashmir are suffering because of escalating tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and Kashmir, which can no longer be ignored," said the Turkish president. "The Kashmir issue needs to find a resolution for itself following a dialogue between Pakistan and India."
"Pakistan and Turkey have always been side by side in testing times," Erdogan said. "Soon after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, I received phone calls from President Mamnoon Hussain and we discussed a possible response to the development."
"We are aiming to conclude free trade agreement before 2017," he added. "Pakistan and Turkey have been making improvements and progress in several fields including, health, defense and energy."
The tripartite agreement and mechanism of peace between Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan also needs to be revived, the Turkish president said.
Following the one-on-one meeting, delegation level talks were held, where the two countries agreed to further augment their bilateral relations in diverse fields.
Delegation level talks between Pak-Turk delegates underway. pic.twitter.com/LFVPRY8ltJ— PML(N) (@pmln_org) November 17, 2016
Earlier, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, along with diplomats welcomed Erdogan at the PM House.
Businessmen urge Turkey to lower tariffs
Turkish president addresses Parliament for record third time
Meanwhile, Erdogan arrived in the Parliament House in Islamabad on Thursday, becoming the first foreign dignitary to address Pakistan’s parliament for the third time.
He was welcomed by National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq, chiefs of armed forces along with chief minister Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Sindh are also present.
Gulen's terrorist organisation a threat to Pakistan's security: Erdogan
Addressing the session, Erdogan said, "Relations between Pakistan and Turkey are far greater than just diplomatic relations."
"Pakistan's democracy is a model for the rest of the world," he said, adding that Pakistan and Turkey have made bilateral ties stronger in every field over the past few years.
"Turkey mourned for an entire day over the attack at Army Public School in Peshawar," Erdogan said, adding that Pakistan and Turkey bond over matters of joy and sorrow.
He announced that the current level of trade between Pakistan and Turkey will be taken to Rs1billion.
"Scholarships from Turkey help students from Pakistan complete their studies," he said, adding that "following a document signed between Pakistan's Higher Education Commission and the Turkish higher education body, 500 Pakistani students will be able to go to Turkey for PhD scholarships every year."
He reiterated that Feto is a threat to Pakistan's security, however, Turkey will not let the terrorist organisation harm Pakistan. "Gulen's outfit will be eliminated before it can cause any sort of harm to Pakistan."
Islam and terrorism cannot be linked together
Sharing his views on terrorism across the globe, the Turkish president said, "God has stated in the Holy Quran that He is closer to us than our jugular vein and there can be no higher power.
"Al Qaeda is serving as a puppet and as a tout to foment terrorism in Muslim countries, there is a war going on in Iraq and Syria. These terrorists are destroying Islam and are tarnishing its name...they do not belong to this religion," he said.
Turkish President Erdogan arrives in Islamabad
"Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria are all affected by these terrorists. I have complete faith that Muslims cannot be destroyed by these tactics, hence the terrorists must be thrown out of the respective countries."
He reiterated that Islam and terrorism could not be linked together.
‘Would like Turkey to become part of CPEC’
Addressing a round table conference with the Turkish business delegation, the prime minister said Pakistan’s economy had bounced back to stability during the last three years, adding that he wanted Turkey to take part in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“We would like Turkey to become a part of this mammoth development programme,” he said, in a bid to attract Turkish endeavours to CPEC.
The government is focused to end the country’s energy crisis, and is certain that it will completely overcome the power shortage by 2018, added PM Nawaz.
Erdogan inaugurates Greater Iqbal Park
The Turkish president inaugurated the historic Greater Iqbal Park, and signed an agreement with the Punjab government to upgrade health sector in the province.
He arrived in Lahore amid tight security, and was welcomed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, among others.