ISLAMABAD - Speakers at a seminar stressed the need for further fortification of the existing deep-rooted relations between the two brotherly Islamic states of Pakistan and Turkey especially in the field of defence and defence production.

Eminent scholars and former diplomats from both Turkey and Pakistan were unanimous in their views that in the changing global political and economic scenarios both the countries needed to work more closely for further strengthening their already ideal relations embedded in historical, religious and cultural bonds.

The seminar titled ‘Pak-Turkey Defence cooperation in emerging geo-strategic paradigm’ was organised by the Muslim Institute yesterday at the National Library Islamabad. Prominent among those who addressed the event included former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal (Retd) Kaleem Saadat, who presided over the event, Rear Admiral(Retd) Mukhtar Ahmad Khan Additional Secretary Ministry of Defence, former Additional Secretary and Ambassador (Retd) Ishtiaq Hussain Andrabi, Associate Dean NUST Dr Tughral Yamin, Chairman Muslim Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, Research Associate MUSLIM Institute Tahir Mehmood, Senior Research Fellow USAK, Turkey, Dr Altay Atli (via video link), Deputy and Former Member Parliament of Turkey Ali Sahin (Via video Link).

Highlighting the deep-rooted Pak-Turkey relations established through their common faith, shared history, cultural and traditional bonds the speaker said that both the brotherly Islamic states enjoyed a unique inter-state relations in terms of mutual trust, understanding and close cooperation.

They said that in terms of capabilities, the strong cooperative relationship in defence industries between the two countries is a major asset and stressed the need for enhancing these relations further.

Pakistan and Turkey both were members of Baghdad Pact, they have joint naval and military exercises in the past and now Turkey is providing 34 aircrafts and their spare parts free of cost to Pakistan.

They pointed out that Turkey is working with Pakistan in the areas of armoured vehicles, tanks, military communication systems and naval patrol boats. There is also the willingness on both sides to expand the relations in other vital areas such as aerospace industries, they added.

They further said that Pakistan and Turkey were working closely in the UN, OIC, ECO and other international and regional organizations and also share common views be it the issue of Kashmir or Cyprus, and also share similar perspectives on regional and international issues.

Both the countries are facing similar kind of security issues and need to redefine security strategy with the China’s engagement in different projects in Pakistan, which can help overcome the security situation, as Turkey also wanted to boost its relations with China.

They also referred to the trilateral relations between Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan, terming the role Turkey vital for bringing normalcy in the war torn country for the collective benefit of the region.

Changing global scenario of the world politics has necessitated the deeper and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey especially in defence sector, the speakers emphasized, adding the strong and cooperative relations between Pakistan and Turkey are also very important with regard to fostering cooperative relations among Muslim countries and to ensure peace in their regions.