Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that the Turkish defense industries have achieved great success during the last two decades under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by overcoming all obstacles.
Sharif spoke on the sidelines of his visit to Turkey last Friday and Saturday about aspects of Pakistani-Turkish cooperation in the field of defense industries and touched on regional and international issues.
Sharif described the Pakistani-Turkish relations as exemplary and historical, close to common religious and cultural ties, and explained that they are too lofty to be subject to political changes in the two countries.
He stressed that Pakistan and Turkey should strengthen joint work and deepen their cooperation through joint research and development, adding that “Turkish defense industries have achieved great success during the last two decades under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by overcoming all obstacles and difficulties.”
He pointed out that Pakistan is the largest importer of Turkish defense industries, indicating that “cooperation between the two countries in the manufacture of MİLGEM corvettes is not only a unique value for increasing the capabilities of the Pakistani navy, but at the same time a development that strengthens the brotherly relations between the two countries and their naval fleets.”
Sharif said that Turkey and Pakistan celebrate this year the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between them and stated that they have always stood by each other in the face of all challenges.
He added that Pakistan and Turkey support each other on all issues of national interest, whether those related to Jammu and Kashmir or Northern Cyprus.
In this context, Sharif expressed his thanks for Turkey’s principled support in the Jammu and Kashmir issue, noting that the two countries share similar views on regional and international issues.
He added that Ankara and Islamabad are satisfied with the close cooperation between them in bilateral, regional and multilateral forums, and that the two countries have strengthened their cooperation in various fields, especially the defense industries, in the face of common challenges and various threats.
Regarding former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s calls for early elections, Sharif confirmed that they will be held on time in August 2023.
He said that his government came to power through the constitution and that it was delegated by the people. He stated that the Pakistani economy when he came to power was on the verge of collapse and the state was suffering from a financial crisis.
He pointed out that the previous government did not favor economic growth in the country, which put the economy in many difficulties.
He emphasized that the recovery programs of the International Monetary Fund and cooperation with partners have eased the pressure on the Pakistani economy.
Sharif stressed his country’s desire to establish good relations with all its neighbours, including India.
He explained that the establishment of new rules of engagement with India requires a healthy atmosphere, and that the responsibility here rests with India.
In order to normalize trade relations with India, Sharif stressed the need for New Delhi to reverse the decisions it took on August 5, 2019, to stop “state terrorism” practices in Jammu and Kashmir, and to end the demographic change there.
Sharif said they are determined to deepen and broaden Pakistan’s “long-standing and broad-based relationship” with the United States and that the relations over the last two months between the two countries have been fruitful.
He pointed out that relations have been further strengthened with the recent visits by members of Congress and US government officials to Pakistan.
He also expressed his thanks to the US administration for allocating $97 million to help those affected by the floods in Pakistan.
Sharif described the United States as an “important trading partner” and added that the two countries are exploring more ways to boost trade relations.
He added that Islamabad cooperates closely with the United States to encourage peace and stability in Afghanistan and pursues a foreign policy based on “friendship and goodwill towards all countries.”
He pointed out that “Pakistan traditionally maintains good relations with the United States and China,” and that his country has always played a bridge role in relations between Washington and Beijing.
He noted that Pakistan believes that constructive engagement with all countries can promote peace and security as well as development and communication in the entire region.
He added, “We look forward to continuing to engage with the international community for peace and stability in the region and beyond.”
He stated that his country strongly believes that relations between countries should be based on mutual respect and peaceful resolution of issues by adhering to the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
On relations with Beijing, he said that his recent visit to China gave new impetus to the joint efforts between the two countries to ensure the implementation of major projects and their completion on time.
He stressed that his country always attaches great importance to the security of its international development partners and added, “Both Pakistan and China understand the complex regional environment and the risks it poses. We will continue to be very vigilant and ensure that the nefarious schemes of our critics fail.”