Turkey-Pakistan: Relationship beyond trade

JAFFAR HASNAIN
Published

Pakistan and Turkey have enjoyed a unique relationship which dates back to the times of the great leaders Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. The relationship between the two brotherly nations has always excelled in the domains of economic, cultural and historical ties. It is evident that the visit of the Pakistani premier on the call of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will enhance these relations further in due course. Over the last 20 years, trade among other areas has increased gradually and with the announcement of increased reciprocal business activity, the countries will reap the rewards of their hard work and struggle.

Apart from the traditional roles that these countries play and looking at the current status of the world, Turkey and Pakistan can play a pivotal role in eradicating growing problems that include xenophobia, Islamophobia and the authoritative attitude of the United Nations Security Council.

Turkey's leader, President Erdoğan, has stated numerous times that these issues are abnormally harmful for the Muslim world. Speaking at an inauguration of a mosque in Cologne, Germany, He said, "Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism are maladies that threaten not only our today but also our future. We should join forces against these trends, which corrode social peace and undermine the culture of coexistence."

Taking these facts into consideration, it can be comprehended that Pakistan too can be a vital player in eliminating these problems. The country recently took a strong stand against a blasphemous cartoon which was due to be published in the Netherlands, whose publishing was later withdrawn thanks to the immense pressure put by the Pakistani government. Turkey has also supported such stances no matter where they arise.

The most important need of the Muslim world today is to end these menaces against Muslims, whether they are in Europe, Myanmar or Kashmir. No doubt, bilateral relations are very important but reinforced steps need to be taken to portray the correct image of Muslims around the world.

It is evident from recent reports that Islamophobia and xenophobia have been on the rise and governments in charge are not taking enough measures to end these problems. With the unique relationship defining Turkey and Pakistan, both countries can take a stronger stand to give the oppressed a better chance at what they deserve best.

President Erdoğan should be commended for raising his voice on the reforms within the Security Council with his famous phrase, "The world is bigger than five." However, the real question that needs to be posed now is, "How long will the Muslim world bow down to the demands of those in charge of making decisions?" Pakistan supports Turkey's calls for a reformation within the United Nations but collaboration on a much larger scale to address this issue is required.

If the Muslim world unites to confront major powers who show relatively no interest in the plight of millions across the globe, the world would become a better place to live for the children of Yemen, the innocent in Syria and the suppressed in occupied Palestine.

The FETÖ concern

Beyond these issues which must be highlighted on a global scale is the ever-growing concern of terrorism. With the Pakistani government's recent recognition of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) as a terrorist cult, which is the sole responsible for the deaths of some 250 innocent Turkish citizens during the 2016 failed coup attempt, the fight against terrorism continues resolutely. With increased global cooperation to root out this issue, we will not be far from the time when this menace will be completely eradicated and the coup plotters will be apprehended for their merciless crimes.

Incorporating the same ideology, promoting the success of citizens and having the same motives for the benefit of society and Muslims on a broader scale is what these two nations have always prioritized. Having expressed these ideas, it is key to note that the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan has opened many doors not only for economic collaboration but also as the title suggests, a relationship beyond trade.

* Anchor at A News TV channel, based in Istanbul

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