Islamabad - Turkey President Abdullah Gul is in contact with President Asif Ali Zardari to rescue the bilateral relations from being worsened over detention of Turkish power-generating ships’ row. Sources told TheNation on Monday that President Gul was seeking personal help of President Zardari for immediate release of the two Turkish power-generating ships and their supporting vessels in a bid to rescue the strategic bilateral relations from being spoiled.  According to sources, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also discussed the issue at the highest level with Pakistani leadership during his recent visit to Pakistan.

Sources said that Turkish government was trying to get an appointment with Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to brief him on the matter. The Supreme Court barred power-generating ships Karkey — a subsidiary of Karadeniz Holding from – from leaving Pakistani shores, following claims of MNA Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had not recovered the actual dues outstanding against the owners of ships.

According to the Turkish diplomatic sources, accruing cost on the detention of the two ships and score of their supporting vessels was escalating with each passing day and if the company moved to international arbitration court, Pakistan will have to pay the damages.

Pakistan hired the Turkish power ships in 2010 under an agreement with Karkey Karadeniz Electric Uretim to provide 200MW.

The company was paid $80 million in advance but NAB claimed that the payment was the violation of the agreement because the powerhouse failed to provide 200MW. Lately, it just managed to add only 60 MW to the national grid.