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ISLAMABAD: NUST and Ankara Centre of Thought and Research (ADAM-ACTR) held a joint conference on Economic, Social and Political Relations between Turkey and Pakistan on Saturday in NUST, Islamabad

The main themes of the conference are based on the history of Turkey-Pakistan relations; economic, financial, commercial, and international cooperation opportunities; the role of Islamic economics and finance on development, and the social and cultural relations between Pakistan and Turkey.

The Pro-Rector (Research, Innovation & Commercialization) NUST Dr Rizwan Riaz welcomed the guests and opened the conference with a welcoming speech. He expressed how crucial the relations between the two countries are, by saying: “Turkey is our brother country”.

Right after Dr Rizwan speech, Prof Mehmat Bulut (President of Ankara centre of thought & research)) stated that in recent years Turkey has increased its activity, both in its own geography, but also in the status of countries that are far from the region but not developed economically.

South-Asia is at the forefront of geographical areas where Turkey has increased its activity outside the region. He added that Pakistan with a serious Muslim population in order to determine the current economic situation in South Asia especially in Pakistan where Turkey’s new foreign policy statement corresponds, to take lessons from history and to photograph the future vision with new economic cooperation possibilities.

Moreover, Turkish Charge de Affairs in Pakistan Esra Sen highlighted that universities associated with ADAM-ACTR will have an important pool of resources at the academic dimension to produce policies that will trigger regional development and growth.

He added that forging of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey can be traced back to the time of British India before Pakistan was born but the Pakistan Movement was well underway.

The speakers at the conference provided a roadmap to stimulate and disseminate new research on economic cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan.

They added that in the last few years, the perceptions and interests of Turkey and Pakistan have started to converge on a number of important issues. For over half a century, Turkey and Pakistan remained close friends. Their multidimensional relationship showed the same spirit of brotherhood as prevailed during centuries old ties between Indian Muslims and the Ottoman Empire, later the Republic of Turkey. Ideologically, however, they were poles apart – Turkey, when it became a Republic, pursued secularism while Pakistan adhered to the Islamic ideology as the centrepiece of its nationhood. But these differences of ideology, with their corresponding reflections on their respective external outlook, never hampered the course of friendly bilateral ties. In future, there is hope that in keeping with the global trends, economic interaction will assume centre-stage in relations between Pakistan and Turkey.

They said a number of Pakistani students avail the Turkish universities scholarships but the ratio of Turkish students coming to Pakistan educational institutes is very low. There is a need for educational institutions to establish linkages. There is also a need to increase people-to-people contacts by exchange of cultural groups from both sides as well as encouraging the tourism industry to take the initiative in this regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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