Imran thanks Erdogan for raising voice for people of occupied Kashmir

Published: February 14, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for pledging his continued support to Islamabad and its stance on Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

“On the behalf of the people of Pakistan, I would like to thank President Erdogan for raising his voice for the people of Occupied Kashmir who are living under complete siege and braving oppression of Indian forces,” said the premier while addressing a joint press conference with the Turkish president in Islamabad.

The news conference followed the 6th session of Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), which was co-chaired by the two leaders. Members of PM Imran’s cabinet as well as ministers accompanying the Turkish president participated in the meeting.

Turkish President Erdogan pledges continued support for Pakistan, Kashmir

Speaking about the ongoing atrocities in IOJ&K, PM Imran pointed out that the Indian forces continued to illegally detain Kashmiri leaders as well as civilians, including minors. The premier also pointed out the virtual siege in the region after Delhi’s decision to impose severe restrictions, including communication blockade, in the occupied valley since August 5 after revoking its special status.

Reiterating his stance on Kashmir, the Turkish president said that the country stands in solidarity with the people of IOK “who have been suffering oppression” under Indian occupation.

“We are sorry and disturbed over the deteriorating situation in the IOJ&K following the unilateral steps taken by the Indian leadership,” said Erdogan, referring to the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status last August.

While expressing support for the people of the occupied valley, Erdogan urged India and Pakistan to resolve the long-standing dispute through dialogue and peaceful means.

Inking agreements

PM Imran said that the 13 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed between Islamabad and Ankara will open a new chapter in the bilateral relations of the two countries.

He said Pakistan supports Turkey on all matters, including terrorism-related issues on its border.

Turkish President Erdogan hopes to increase bilateral trade, business

“Our cooperation is beyond political and economic matters. We want to develop content with their [Turkey] cooperation to counter Islamophobia,” he said as an agreement was also inked between the state-run broadcasters of the two countries.

The Turkish president said inking of the agreements reflected the importance of the relationship between the two countries, adding that the two countries had agreed to bring the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion.

“We are ready to extend our all-out support to Pakistan in various sectors, including energy, economy, transport, law and order, and others.

“I believe that IK will not spare any effort to improve business environment in the country,” said the president.

Combatting terrorism

President Erdogan lauded Pakistan’s move to declare the Pak-Turk International Cag Education Foundation (PTICEF) a banned organisation in 2018.

The Pak-Turk schools were administered by a foundation linked to Fethullah Gulen, once an ally of Turkey’s president. However, since the abortive coup attempt in July 2016, the Turkish leadership has blamed Gulen for sponsoring the overthrow attempt, resulting in a global crackdown on the religious and educational network led by him.

“The fact that schools belonging to the Gulen foundation have been handed over to Turkey is also an example of our deep friendship, and in this regard I would like to thank Pakistan again for taking steps against PTICEF terror organisation,” he added.

In his concluding remarks, PM Imran thanked the Turkish president for his visit. “Under the leadership of President Erdogan, relations between the countries have been bolstered.”


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