LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkish Prime Minister Bin Ali Yildirim held an important meeting outside the entrance gate of Masjid-e-Nabvi in Madina yesterday and shared views on the Jerusalem issue.

Jerusalem historically is a part of Palestine but the US President has declared to accept it as capital of Israel. The General Assembly has passed a resolution against this move with a thumping majority.

US President Donald Trump’s decision has invited a sharp and strong reaction worldwide. Turkey and Pakistan along with other Islamic states have been critical of the move to make Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Admitting Jerusalem a part of Palestine, Turkey has announced to shift its embassy there.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had left for Saudi Arabia on a plane especially sent by the Saudi government. According to media reports, Foreign Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif was kept in dark about the purpose of the CM’s surprise visit, while PM spokesman Musaddak Malik said, “Shehbaz Sharif is in Saudi Arabia on a private visit to perform Umrah.

At the local level, opposition politicians and the political observers are interpreting the visit of Shehbaz differently particularly in the background of the unabated tirade of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif against the institutions in Pakistan and his strong commitment to launch Tehrik-e-Adal after the court disqualified him and qualified his main political opponent Imran Khan as member of the Parliament.

Shehbaz, on the other hand, stands in contrast with his elder brother about the outlook towards the institutions.

They say the brewing situation after US President’s threats and pressure on Pakistan over Afghanistan and its role in the Jerusalem issue, do not warrant a tense and restive situation that is not affordable to Pakistan and the Muslim states which have collective stakes in peace in this country to deal with the upcoming challenges to the Muslim world.

Media reports say that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is also expected to fly to Saudi Arabia in next 48 hours where he would hold important meetings with Saudi authorities, besides performing Umrah.

Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkish Prime Minister Bin Ali Yildirim warmly shook hands, hugged and exchanged good wishes for each others at the gate of Masjid-e-Nabvi. On the occasion, the chief minister said that he was happy to meet him at the most sacred place of Masjid-e-Nabvi. Pakistan and Turkey were brotherly Islamic countries and the Muslim world had unanimously opposed the US decision on the issue of occupied Bait-ul-Maqdas. The role of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been remarkable on this issue. He said that every Muslim has a strong spiritual attachment with sacred places situated in the Saudi Arabia. Turkish Prime Minister Bin Ali Yildirim said that he was very much happy over his meeting with brother Shehbaz.

Meanwhile, a large number of people showed their love and affection towards CM Shehbaz in Madina and Masjid-e-Nabvi. Talking on the occasion, the chief minister said he was thankful to Almighty Allah for all the respect and honour showed by the people. The love and affection shown by the people was a precious asset for me, he added. He said he was thankful to the people who have expressed good wishes for him and gave him tremendous respect and honor. “The love, affection and respect shown by the public will always be remembered by me and I shall never forget good sentiments of the people,” he further said.