Pakistan holds strong relations with Turkey: Prime Minister

Islamabad, December 20, 2013 (PPI-OT): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in an interview with a Turkish TV channel has said that “Pakistan holds strong relations with Turkey, and Turkey has a special place in our hearts”. He further said that history bears witness to the fact that Pakistan and Turkey were the pioneer members of RCD along with Iran, “it was first cooperation council of its nature among the three countries”.

Prime Minister further said that “We already have partnership with Turkey in transport sector in Punjab and we need to harness the full potential of Pak-Turkey friendship in other fields as well”. He stated that “I recently visited Turkey and was greatly impressed by the progress made by Turkey and congratulated the leadership and Government of Turkey on efforts for welfare of their people”.

While replying to a question, the Prime Minister said that “I am happy on the smooth transfer of power in Pakistan and now democracy is taking roots as free and fair elections were held in the country. However, we have huge challenges in front of us like power shortage, law and order, economy, and terrorism, but as a strong nation we will overcome all hurdles”.

He said that we now can see improvement in load shedding in the country due to clearance of substantial amount of circular debt, economic growth rate has improved in the last three months and so has the growth in manufacturing sector, coupled with improving law and order situation.

To a question regarding relations with neighbouring countries, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that we want peace with our neighbours. “In Afghanistan we want Afghan owned and Afghan led peace process”.

He further said that “I visited Afghanistan and held meeting with President Karzai and assured him of Pakistan’s full support for the peace process. Moreover, there is complete understanding on various issues between the two countries. We believe that stability in Afghanistan is important for Pakistan and for the entire region”.

Prime Minister said that “we want peace with India, and want resolution of all outstanding issues through dialogue”. Pakistan and India are neighbours and no one can change its neighbours, so let’s live like good neighbours, said the Prime Minister.

While replying to another question, Prime Minister said that, “I am thankful to European Union for supporting Pakistan in award of GSP Plus status, which shows confidence of international markets on excellent quality of Pakistani products. Now we need energy and power to harness the full potential of Pakistan-EU cooperation.

Our trade will improve with EU countries and exports will boost”. He said that the government is taking bold economic initiatives, as a result of which manufacturing sector has shown improvement. Business Loan scheme for the youth of Pakistan has been launched as we believe youth to be the backbone of national economy. “We intend to convert ‘dependents’ into ‘providers’ through this scheme”, said the Prime Minister.

In reply to another question, the Prime Minister said that “after coming to power we held APC where all parties unanimously decided to bring peace into the country through dialogue”. Dialogue was our first option and we still pursue this option. Though there are obstacles in the way, yet we are trying our best to bring peace in the region.

Prime Minister said that Pakistan urgently requires energy and power to stabilize economy. The Government has initiated hydel power projects that would generate approximately 15,000 MW and is establishing 10 coal based power plants of 6,600 MW. Wind power is another option and we welcome Turkish companies to invest in this sector.

“Definitely it will create employment opportunities”, said the Prime Minister. In the field of Infrastructure Development, Government is planning to construct Lahore to Karachi Motorway and China to Gawadar Motorway. Prime Minister invited Turkish companies to invest in these projects too.

He further said that Government will set up a Special Economic Zone, where special incentives will be offered to investors. “A modern Islamabad Airport is being built and network of highways are planned and we would encourage Pakistan-Turkey partnership in these projects”, said the Prime Minister.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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