Tuesday February 27, 2024

Turkish delegation leaves after eight-day visit

September 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A 22-member Turkish delegation comprising intellectuals and media personnel left Pakistan on the successful completion of their eight-day visit during which they met senior political and military leadership and also visited Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Line of Control (LoC).

During their stay, the delegation, headed by Professor at Istanbul University Urdu Department Dr Halil Toker, visited the Chakothi Sector to obtain first-hand information about losses caused by ceasefire violations by the Indian troops from across the Line of Control (LoC). The delegation interacted with the victims of ceasefire violations and was told that the shelling had been causing the villagers both physical and material losses without any respite. On their way back, the delegation visited the Central Press Club Muzaffarabad where they further gathered information from the local journalists on the situation, in addition to sharing their own observations.

In separate meetings with the Turkish delegation at Kashmir House, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider decried what they called the major countries’ silence on the ongoing Indian massive human rights abuses of people in Held Kashmir and called for timely intervention to avert catastrophe in the region. They apprised the visitors of how grim the situation was in the occupied valley, particularly following Indian draconian steps of August 5.

The delegation held an interaction with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership and Mashal Malik, the wife of jailed Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yaseen Malik, in addition to visiting the AJK Assembly and Muhajir Camp in Muzaffarabad.

In Islamabad, the delegation called on President Arif Alvi. Talking to the delegation, President Alvi said the belligerent Indian leadership, with its thumb on nuclear button, is doggedly Hinduising India and persecuting minorities and has, therefore, become a threat not only to the regional and world peace but also to the very social fabric of India itself. “Pakistan aspires for peace, but if war is imposed on us, we will retaliate with full might,” he said in response to a question by a Turkish journalist.

A briefing was given to the delegation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Pakistan’s foreign policy dynamics and the country’s efforts to bring peace to the region, especially Islamabad’s role in the Afghan peace process. The visiting dignitaries were also briefed about humanitarian crisis in Indian-held Kashmir and Pakistan’s peace overtures towards India with an aim to resolve all outstanding disputes through talks.

During a visit to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the delegation was briefed about Pakistan-India February standoff, situation along LoC and the Working Boundary and human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir as well as its implications for the regional peace.

The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organised an in-house meeting with the Turkish delegation and the discussion covered major global issues, including the deteriorating situation in Indian-held Kashmir. ISSI Director General Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry gave an overview of global and regional situation in South Asia, with particular focus on the developments in Kashmir dispute following the August 5 abrogation of the special status of the occupied valley by the Modi government. The delegation was also comprehensively briefed about Pakistan’s relations with major global powers and its neighbourhood policies.

The delegation also took part in an interactive session at the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI).In Lahore, the delegation visited historical places besides witnessing the flag lowering ceremony at Wagha border crossing between Indian and Pakistan.

SDE President Dr Muhammet Savas Kafkasyali, GASAM President Cemal Demir, TRT World Head of Planning Gokhan Gokce, Anadolu Agency Foreign News Editor Ogun Duru are part of the delegation besides representatives from NTV, Kanal 5, Hurriyet Daily News, Milliyet, Cumhuriyet, Türk Medya Dijital, Daily Sabah, Milli Gazette, TV 5 and Yeni Safak.