ISLAMABAD - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan would be the seventh world leader to address joint sitting of the Parliament and he would also be having the rare distinction to address the country’s Parliament for the second time.
Turkish Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to Pakistan and the foreign dignitary was accompanied by a high-level delegation. On his arrival at Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and his entourage was accorded red carpet welcome. The visit is in response to an invitation by the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani.
During his stay, Erdogan would address the joint session of Parliament on Monday evening.  Prime Minister Gilani during his visit to Turkey in December 2010 addressed the Turkish Parliament, an honour only for the heads of the states.
The PM would also host dinner in honour of the visiting dignitary and according to the Prime Minister’s House, invitations have been sent to PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Jama’at-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hassan, JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Muneer Orakzai, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and others.
Erdogan on arrival at Parliament today would be received jointly by Speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza and Acting Chairman Senate Sabir Baloch. Later, the visiting Prime Minister will pay a courtesy call on both the ‘Custodians of the Houses’. The spouse of the Turkish Prime Minister along with half dozen of his cabinet members and half dozen members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey are also accompanying him.
The invitation cards have been dispatched to all foreign diplomats in Islamabad, all provincial Chief Ministers, Governors and Services’ Chiefs and President and Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir and all federal secretaries.
Sources in the main opposition party PML-N informed that the party has decided to participate in the Joint Sitting of the Parliament and would accord due respect to the visiting dignitary but the party was undecided on taking part on the dinner reception hosted in honour of the visiting Turkish delegation by the Prime Minister Gilani as the party did not consider him as the legitimate chief executive of the country following his conviction by the Supreme Court.
Sources in the party further informed that some senior party leaders were of the view that keeping in view the relations of both the brotherly Islamic states and the personal amity of Nawaz Sharif with Turkish leadership the party should participate in the dinner reception just to show their respect to the visiting delegation.
But some other senior party leaders were of the view that they should participate in the Joint Sitting of the Parliament while they should not attend the dinner reception hosted by a convicted Prime Minister, which would have negative repercussions for their future politics.
The decision on the participation in the dinner reception was yet to be made but most likely the party would stay away from attending the dinner hosted by a convicted Prime Minister.