ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that besides strong bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkey, hearts of the people of the two countries also beat together, who have stood together in every test of time.
He made these remarks while addressing a function organised by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Kashmir Education Foundation in Islamabad on Wednesday.
The AJK president expressed gratitude for the people and the government of Turkey, particularly President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for being the first to reach the quake-hit areas in 2005, and contributing to rescue, relief and rehabilitation work under the unprecedented spirit of Islamic fraternity and love.
The AJK president said that the Turkish people had established universities, hospitals and a number of educational institutions in the liberated territory, and President Erdoğan had personally visited Azad Kashmir – a testament to the close bilateral ties.
Khan also thanked the Turkish president for supporting the Kashmir cause.
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Welcoming cooperation between TIKA and the Kashmir Education Foundation, the AJK president expressed the hope that both the organisations would jointly play an active role in the promotion of quality education in Azad Kashmir.
He invited Turkish ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul and his wife to pay a visit to Rawalakot and witness the education being imparted in a local school.
The function was also addressed by the Turkish ambassador in Pakistan and the TIKA country director.
‘Disastrous for peace’
Meanwhile, addressing a conference on "Peace and Development in South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia" held under the auspices of Islamabad Policy Research Institute, the AJK president warned that if the international community failed to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful political means, Kashmiris would be compelled to fight which may prove to be disastrous for the region.
He said Kashmiris were struggling for their freedom for long, adding that it efforts for right to self-determination shall continue despite the difficulties.
He regretted that the governments of Europe and North America, instead of condemning India's Kashmir policy, were appeasing New Delhi.