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January 15, 2021

Turkish firms to invest in Karachi’s urban transport, waste management


January 15, 2021

Addressing the inauguration of the new building of the Turkish consulate in Clifton on Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Pakistan’s relationship with Turkey predates the independence of both countries.

The CM said that under the British rule, the Muslims of India considered the Ottoman sultan their caliph, and Muslim freedom fighters led the Khilafat Movement to collect donations, to help their Turkish brethren in their struggle for independence.

He said that during Turkey’s War of Independence from 1919 to 1923, the Muslims of the British India extended their unflinching support to their Turkish brothers by financially assisting the Ottoman Empire.

During the Turkish-Russian War, a notable educationist from Sindh, Hassanally Effendi mobilised the people of Sindh to help the people of Turkey during the war, added the chief executive.

Shah said that in recognition of Effendi’s struggle, the Turkish government awarded him two Turkish titles, Effendi and Bey, adding that Effendi was also appointed the honorary Turkish consul in Karachi.

“Based on this history, the people of Pakistan, and particularly those of Sindh, share a very special bond with Turkey that has been preserved for over a century.” He said that when it comes to independence or even the strengthening of democracy, the political struggles of Pakistan as well as that of Turkey have been quite similar.

He also said that both countries have had similar struggles for democracy and both have had female prime ministers, adding that Turkey’s 22nd premier Tansu Ciller and Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto both served as PM from 1993 to 1996. As female premiers of Muslim countries, they shared a strong relationship, he added. The CM said that in 1994 they had visited Bosnia together “as brave mothers and not as politicians” to appeal to world leaders to end civilian atrocities in the Balkan country.

He said that Turkey and Pakistan share not only strong diplomatic relations but also deep economic, religious, cultural and military ties. “Turkey was among the first few countries to recognise the independent state of Pakistan and supported our bid to gain UN membership.”

The chief executive of the province also lauded the Republic of Turkey for expressing its unequivocal and categorical support for and solidarity with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir. He said that the Turkish government has always stood by Pakistan during difficult times. “During the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, Turkey had announced a $150 million package for the earthquake victims.”

The CM said that during the 2010 floods in Pakistan, when the Pakistan Peoples Party was in power, the Turkish government had provided extensive assistance, which included the reconstruction of houses in the flood-affected areas. Similarly, aid was also extended by Pakistan to Turkey during the earthquakes of 1999 and 2011, he added.

He said that the Pak-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework has led to billions of dollars of trade and investment between the two countries, particularly in the areas of transport, telecommunications, manufacturing and tourism.

“Both countries are founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organisation and also a part of the Developing-8 Countries,” he said, adding that with the Turkey-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement under way, the bilateral trade can be foreseen achieving new heights.

Shah said that the Pak-Turk schools have played a key role in educating countless children in Pakistan, adding that each year witnesses an increase in the number of Pakistani students pursuing higher education at Turkish universities.

“Today the inauguration of the new building of the consulate and the visit of the Turkish foreign minister to inaugurate this diplomatic office marks another beginning, highlighting the strength of our ties with the Republic of Turkey.”

Earlier, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu along with a delegation attended a reception that Sindh’s chief executive had hosted for him at the CM House. Provincial ministers and the chief secretary were also present. Shah invited Turkish investors to invest in Karachi’s urban transport and waste management, and in renewable energy and coal mining.

The visiting Turkish minister agreed to send investors from Turkey to Sindh to explore investment opportunities, and he also agreed to work with the provincial government in the areas of urban transport and waste management. The CM presented the traditional gifts of Tamburo, Ralli, Khes, Ajrak and Thari shawl.

The visiting guest told the CM that Turkey’s president would visit Karachi on his next visit to Pakistan. Shah and the Turkish FM agreed to exchange a delegation of investors so that they could explore investment opportunities in both countries.