Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a successful two day visit to Pakistan and following that was the visit of UN Secretary General António Guterres. Both the official calls were highly successful and yet critical at the same time when Pakistan was struggling with the FATF obligations. These much anticipated and awaited visits are considered quite crucial for Pakistan in lieu of emergent economic conditions. Before evaluating both the visits, it is important to know that they speak volume about the Pakistan’s now much active foreign policy which in past was not that much highlighted on diplomatic desk internationally. Though there is a lot of room for improvement in it but nevertheless one should appreciate the fact that it is able to shake many fora’s internationally with Pakistan’s voice.

Coming to Turkish President visit, this was his fourth trip to Pakistan. Earlier he visited twice as Prime Minister of Turkey and this was his second time visit as President. Historically he also holds the honour of addressing Pakistani Parliament’s joint session every time he visited. As projected after the Pakistan’s absence from Kuala Lumpur Summit, this official call negated all kind of apprehensions and negative propaganda against Pakistan. Certainly, Pakistan is quite dynamic from the kiosk of foreign policy now and hopeful that it will be able to restore its desired stature in international community and to an extent it has achieved some milestones too.

Before analysing the Turkish President visit to Pakistan, it is important to highlight the cordial relations both countries share. These relations date back to 1920s Khilafat Movement to save Ottoman Empire and how one can overlook Turkish honour for our great leaders. Turkey was the first country which facilitated Pakistan to publish its currency after 1947. Few years back Turkey’s historical city Konya has got Allama Iqbal Park built adjacent to Mevlana Rumi’s mausoleum. Not to forget there is an honorary grave of Allama Iqbal at Mevlana Rumi’s Tomb in Konya, Turkey and this park entrance displays his picture and quotes at the entrance of “Muhammed Ikqal Parki” depicting how much our visionary poet is still respected abroad. The depth of love, affection and respect among the Turkish people and leadership for Muhammad Iqbal is visible today because of his immense services for Islam and contribution to Turkish causes during the Balkan wars and Turkey’s War of Independence. The poetry of our national poet Allama Iqbal for them was a vigil in dark to find the way out for freedom. Many parks are on the name of Iqbal in Turkey and an avenue in Ankara is on the name of our great Quaid Muhammad Ali Jinnah with the name of Cinnah Caddesi.

READ MORE: The true north

Apart from historical relations, it is observed that Pakistan-Turkey relations are not politics bound. Whatever and whenever Pakistan required assistance Turkey was on forefront, be it an earthquake or flood relief operations or any kind of developmental project Turkey’s help remained inevitable. This long term strategic partnership comprises of different MoU’s in the line of defence and economic cooperation, which were refreshed during this visit of Turkish President. Pakistan-Turkey also share three international platforms which are OIC, ECO and D-8 and being economic forte the determinant of international political system, both countries can help strengthening each other economies by means of trade and investment. In this regard, construction of custom free trade corridor via Central Asia and on bigger landscape CPEC can boost financial prudence. Apart from whatever agreements are made, the most important step is the following up of such deals. Be it is the assistance in education sector, media ventures, infrastructure project or defence matters, the primary task is to follow up from both sides to achieve timely results. Otherwise the concerned common man will remain ignorant of such boosted visits.

Immediately after Erdogan visit was UNSG arrival to Pakistan in which he remained engaged in different activities including discourse at conferences about climate change, Pakistan’s role in UN Peacekeeping missions, hosting Afghan refugees for 40 years and later visiting Kartarpur Corridor and appreciating Pakistan’s magnificent example of interfaith dialogue, where he quoted it as ‘the best symbol that we can give for a world in peace and for a world in which there is mutual respect and there is the acceptance of what is different. Diversity is a blessing, a richness, not a threat”.

Whereas comparing both expeditions which are considered as positive omen to those muscles who have often tried to side-line Pakistan towards isolation, they should introspect international leaders coming to Pakistan including visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Malaysia’s Mahathir Muhammad, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince official visit after 12 years, Qatari Emir’s arrival, British Royal Prince William and Kate Middleton social call to Pakistan and many high profile delegates choosing a country to strengthen diplomatic ties definitely offers a reminder to those who tagged Pakistan with terrorism. Apart from chanting diplomatically triumphant Pakistan still needs to do necessary homework with regards to following up of investments made and work done. Pakistan has gained due support for Kashmir issue but policies for resolving the dispute via international organizations like UN require more vocals. Likewise, Pakistan has convinced concerned authorities on effective steps taken to avoid FATF black listing, yet the Pakistan’s pivotal importance in South Asia is an eye-sore for few of international alliances who despite acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts to eradicate terrorism and facilitating due sustenance for Afghan peace process try to find out lacunas and deliberate threats out of it. To achieve more apart from keeping house in order at domestic front, a cautious approach for globe is mandatory too.