ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan have expressed their heartfelt grief and sorrow over the loss of lives in earthquake in Turkey.

In his message, the President asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to convey sincere condolences from the people of Pakistan to the families of victims. The President said we commiserate with all those who are affected and pray for early recovery of the injured.

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday during which he conveyed condolences of Government and people of Pakistan over the loss of precious lives due to an earthquake in Turkey’s Izmir region and surrounding areas. 

The Prime Minister wished and prayed for the full and swift recovery of those affected by this natural calamity. The Prime Minister highlighted that given the strong bonds between the two nations, the people of Pakistan equally shared the pain of their Turkish brothers and sisters and will stand by them as Turkey had stood by Pakistan during the 2005 earthquake. He offered to provide all possible support and assistance to the Turkish people in this hour of grief. 

Imran Khan holds phone talk with President Erdogan

The two leaders also discussed the recent terrorist attack on a Madrassa in Pakistan. The Prime Minister stated that this cowardly terrorist attack was carried out by the enemies of Pakistan. Both the leaders shared concerns on the rising tide of Islamophobia in the Western world particularly in Europe. 

The Prime Minister reiterated that leaders of the Muslim world must take the lead in breaking this cycle of hate and extremism against Muslims. He added that Muslim leaders may explain to their counterparts from the Western world the special reverence and love all Muslims feel towards the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Just as European states have laws criminalizing the denial of Holocaust and their sentiments for Holocaust are respected, the West must also respect the sentiments of Muslims all over the world and refrain from justifying offensive actions under the garb of freedom of expression. 

The two leaders also agreed that their Foreign Ministers would meet and continue to engage on issues of mutual interest including efforts to address Islamophobia.

 

Earlier in a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan extended heartfelt condolences to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the people of Turkey on the loss of precious lives in Izmir earthquake. He said we stand with the Turkish nation, offering every help we can give. The Prime Minister said we can never forget the way Turkey stood with us when the devastating earthquake hit Pakistan in 2005.

 

Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz also expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives due to earthquake in Turkey.

 

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Saturday and expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of life and property in earthquake in Turkey.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased in the earthquake and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

He said the Pakistan government and the entire Pakistani nation stand by their Turkish brethren in this difficult moment, and we are ready to extend every sort of help. The Foreign Minister extended Pakistan’s offer to dispatch relief teams and field hospitals for rehabilitation of quake-affected people. 

 

The Turkish Foreign Minister thanked on behalf of his leadership to the President, the Prime Minister and the people of Pakistan for best wishes and the offer of assistance. He said the Turkish government is utilizing all out resources for relief of the quake-hit people. He said if Turkey needs any material support, it will accept Pakistani brothers’ offer first of all. 

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan has also extended sympathies and condolences to the government of Greece over loss of precious lives in earthquake in Samos Island. In a tweet today, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudri said our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this natural calamity, and we wish speedy recovery to those injured. 

 

In Turkey, rescue operation continues in Izmir city where workers are busy to search for survivors in rubble after a six point six earthquake jolted the city on Friday. According to the Disaster Management Agency Authority, the death toll has risen to 28 and more than 800 injured. Izmir Governor Yavuz Selim Kosger said at least 20 buildings were destroyed and the quake also triggered a partial tsunami in the coastal district of Seferihisar.