LAHORE - A Turkish delegation led by President, Presidency of Religious Affairs Turkey Dr Mehmet Gormez met Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif at Model Town, the other day.

Pak-Turkish relations and promotion of religious harmony, brotherhood and tolerance were discussed in the meeting.

It was also agreed to extend cooperation to each other for the promotion of religious harmony, cohesion and brotherhood on the pattern of trade and economic relations between Turkey and Pakistan.

The chief minister strongly condemned bomb blast in Istanbul and expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives. He and participants of the meeting also offered fateha for the departed souls.

Shehbaz Sharif said that Punjab government and people of the province are standing by their Turk brethren in this hour of grief and their all out sympathies are with the bereaved families. He said that worst barbarity has been committed by targeting innocent people in Istanbul and this act of terrorism is highly deplorable.

He said that Turkey and Pakistan are facing the menace of terrorism which is an international issue and will have to be dealt with consolidated efforts. He said that there is a need for making collective efforts for eradication of terrorism. He felicitated the Turk delegation and Muslim Ummah on the auspicious occasion of the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon him).  The chief minister said that the Holy Prophet gave the message of unity and brotherhood among Muslims and the solution to all the problems being faced by the Muslim Ummah lies in the teachings of the Holy Prophet. He said that teachings of the Holy Prophet are a beacon of light for the whole mankind and there is a need to follow the eternal teachings of Quran and Sunnah in practical life for achieving success.

Shehbaz Sharif said that the example of Turkey with regard to progress and prosperity is before the world as the Turk nation under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan promoted religious harmony and brotherhood and achieved progress and prosperity. He said that there is a need to act upon the teachings of the Holy Prophet by setting aside mutual differences.

He said that Turkey and Pakistan should cooperate with each other for the promotion of religious harmony and brotherhood on the pattern of trade and economic relations and close mutual contacts between the two countries are essential for this purpose. The Chief Minister said that Turkey and Pakistan are bound together in strong historical relations.  The head of Turk delegation Dr Mehmet Gomez felicitated Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistani people on the occasion of Eid ul Miladun Nabi and thanked him for taking out time for the meeting despite being a holiday. He said that Pakistan and Turkey will have to work together for promotion of religious harmony. He said that peace is the need of the hour and Turkey is ready to extend all out cooperation to its Pakistan brethren for this purpose.

He said that Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif is also very popular in Turkey. He said that Shehbaz Sharif has worked very hard for the development of Punjab and is serving the people with sincerity and commitment.

Dr Mehmet Gomez and Turkish delegation also expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of precious human lives in a plane crash near Abbotabad and prayed for the departed souls. The Turkish delegation expressed good wishes for Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Turk Ambassador to Pakistan S. Babur Girgin, Turk Consul General in Lahore Serdar Deniz, Chief Adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Omer Korkmaz and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. Provincial Minister Auqaf Syed Zaeem Husain Qadri, senior leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N Kh Ahmed Hassan and concerned officials also attended the meeting.