ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif spoke about the promising prospects of enhanced bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Turkiye during an interview with Turkish TV channel Haber Global. He emphasized that joint investment and ventures between the two nations would lead to a mutually beneficial “win-win” situation, fostering economic prosperity.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed confidence in achieving a bilateral trade target of $5 billion within the next three years. He highlighted the enormous potential in Pakistan’s solar and hydro power energy sectors, urging Turkish investors to explore the opportunities available. Emphasizing his commitment as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, he assured that all necessary steps would be taken to facilitate Turkish investors in their endeavors.
The Prime Minister stressed the significance of the Pakistan-Turkey relationship, describing it as a deep-rooted bond between “one soul and two hearts.” He recalled the historical support extended by Turkiye to Pakistan during times of difficulty, such as natural disasters including floods and earthquakes. He expressed gratitude for Turkiye’s unwavering support and solidarity, emphasizing that all political parties in Pakistan unite when it comes to the relationship with Turkiye.
Regarding the railroad network between Pakistan, Iran, and Turkiye, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif acknowledged its potential for playing a crucial role in transportation cost reduction and enhancing the competitiveness of goods in global markets. He emphasized the need to improve and optimize the efficiency of this network.
Congratulating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his reelection, the Prime Minister regarded him as an established statesman and politician. He expressed his eagerness to work closely with President Erdogan to further strengthen bilateral relations, trade, and investment ties between Pakistan and Turkiye.
Addressing the issue of Kashmir, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for Turkiye’s territorial integrity and solidarity. He praised Turkiye’s consistent support for Pakistan on the matter of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, emphasizing the importance of resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and the aspirations of the Kashmiri people. He underscored the significance of peaceful talks as the way forward to achieve a peaceful resolution.
In response to questions about the challenges faced by Pakistan, the Prime Minister acknowledged the difficulties posed by skyrocketing prices due to imported inflation, the impact of floods displacing millions of people, and extensive damage to infrastructure, resulting in losses amounting to approximately $30 billion. However, he expressed confidence in the resilience of the Pakistani people and their ability to overcome these challenges through joint efforts.
The Prime Minister highlighted the achievements of the coalition government in galvanizing the international community after the floods, including organizing a successful Geneva donors’ conference that saved the country from serious default risks. He credited the coalition government for negotiating with the Financial Action Task Force (FATAF), resulting in Pakistan’s removal from the grey list. He emphasized the government’s focus on improving the economy, citing recent positive indicators such as improved yields in wheat and cotton crops.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed optimism about the approval of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 9th review, stating that all the required points had been met. He emphasized that Pakistan’s economy was moving in the right direction.
In conclusion, the Prime Minister reiterated the importance of resolving the Kashmir issue and fostering peaceful relations between Pakistan and India. He emphasized the need to prioritize the well-being of the people by creating jobs, eliminating poverty, and utilizing resources effectively. The Prime Minister also addressed questions about holding elections, confirming that the current National Assembly would complete its tenure, after which elections would be held on time to strengthen democracy. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would decide on the timing of the polls, and the government would adhere to their instructions. AGENCIES