Politics

Pakistan Invites Turkey To $64 Billion Infrastructure Project

Pakistan Turkey CPEC
Image source: cpec.gov.pk

On Thursday, Pakistan invited Turkey to join the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project; which would benefit the economic and transportation efficiency of both countries, Pakistani media announced.

“Pakistan highly values its relations with Turkey, and the new government desires to further strengthen relations between Islamabad and Ankara,” stated Asad Qaiser, speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly, while speaking to Turkey’s ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul — during a meeting is Qaiser’s office in the Parliment House in Islamabad.

State-run Radio Pakistan reported Qaiser invited Turkey to join CPEC.

What Is CPEC

Daily Pakistan details the CPEC project:

CPEC, a $64 billion mega project signed in 2014, aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port through a network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport cargo, oil and gas.

The economic corridor plans to provide China cheaper access to Africa and the Middle East while earning Pakistan billions of dollars due to access to transit facilities.

“The Turkish people always consider Pakistan as their second home, and we wish to see this country always strong and prosperous,” Yurdakul said during the meeting, “Pakistan and Turkey are tied in bonds of common religion, culture, and history. Pakistan highly values its relations with Turkey, and the new government desires to further strengthen relations between Islamabad and Ankara,” Qaiser continued.

During their meeting, Yurdakul extended an invitation to Qaiser to attend the second League of Parliamentarian Conference for Al-Quds, which is scheduled for December 14th in Istanbul, where CPEC will undoubtedly be discussed.

Turkish And Pakistani Relationship

The Republic of Turkey’s Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Office details the Turkey-Pakistan relationship:

Turkey-Pakistan relations gain their strength from history. The support extended by the Muslims of the sub-continent to the Turkish Independence War occupies a special place in the Turkish mind. The Turkish Liberation War and its success in establishing a modern state afterwards has been a source of inspiration for the Pakistani people since August 14, 1947, the day the Islamic Republic of Pakistan emerged as a sovereign state. In 2017, 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Pakistan celebrated through several cultural events, which were organized in both countries.

The Pakistani Urdu Network released a mini-documentary detailing their historical ties to Turkey earlier this year, preceding news of 30 Turkish made helicopters being sold to Pakistan for $1.5 billion in June. The deal is the largest weapons contract between the two nations since they established diplomatic relations.

TRT World lists further military deals established by the regional powers:

In 2009, the High Level Cooperation Council which was established between the countries and then upgraded to High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

Several meetings of the council were held, and more than 60 agreements and documents have been signed so far within this mechanism.

Another deal, worth $80 million, was signed between Pakistan’s government and a Turkish contractor in 2013 for the construction of a tanker for Pakistani Navy.

In 2015, Turkey and Pakistan also agreed to cooperate in development and production of tactical unmanned aerial vehicles.

A few weeks later, Turkey announced that it would provide Pakistan with 34 T-37 fighter-cum-training aircraft and its spare parts on a gratis basis.

In 2016, TAI agreed to modernize [sic] the Pakistan Air Force’s fleet of F-16s at a cost of $75 million.

Turkey and Pakistan have come under pressure for their lack of human rights protections and limiting the rights of the press.