Defence cooperation between Pakistan, Turkey to deepen ties: PM Shehbaz

  • PM calls for turning CPEC into a trilateral arrangement between China, Pakistan and Turkey
Updated 20 May, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reiterated on Friday that defence cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey will lead to strong relations between the Pakistan Navy and Turkish firms.

He also called for turning CPEC into a trilateral arrangement between China, Pakistan and Turkey and benefit from its potential to uplift the partnership.

Speaking at the launch ceremony of the third Babur class guided missile heavy corvette, PNS Badr, at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, he said that people from both countries were witnessing improvement in bilateral cooperation for defence, transport and public health.

“We are standing at a point where we can take these relations to great heights,” he said.

PNS Badr was manufactured by Pakistan in cooperation with Turkey. Sharif stressed that this cooperation paves the way for ships and other vessels to be manufactured by Pakistan in cooperation with Turkey.

He detailed that Pakistan possessed a long coastline along with a rich maritime zone and the country’s trade and maritime activities were centred around the major seaports of Karachi.

“Our trade can increase manifold following acceleration of financial and industrial activities,” he said. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will translate our desire to expand connectivity and maximise trade and transhipment with Gwadar as the focal point.”

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“Pakistan is committed to developing maritime infrastructure around trade and economic activities,” he said.

Speaking in a video message, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called PNS Badr one of the most concrete manifestations of deep-rooted historical ties between the two sides.

According to him, Pakistan possesses the most strategic geographic location in South Asia and the region’s ancient culture and richness have made it a centre of global attention.

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“Pakistan and its people hold a unique place in hearts of our people,” he said. “We regard it as necessary to make every effort to bolster Pakistan’s military infrastructure whose security, stability and prosperity we equate with our own.”

On the occasion, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was of the view that PNS Badr would play a vital role for the defence of Pakistan.

It will benefit Pakistan’s armed forces and contribute towards peace and stability in the region, he said.

Ships are one of the most technologically advanced vessels of the Pakistan Navy. They are equipped with a set of advanced weapons and modern sensors, he added.

The minister stressed that the importance of technological independence was increasing day by day and it was also important for a nation’s sovereignty.

“Through technological independence, we can meet our national defence and security needs and fulfil our international responsibilities as well,” he said.

Turkey has made significant progress in defence industry and the share of its local defence production exceeds 80%.

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