Turkey-Pakistan PTA soon - Turkish Investment in Pakistan on the rise

 ANKARA, 19 October 2012: Both Pakistan and Turkey will expedite their efforts for an early conclusion of a comprehensive Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that will further boost commercial relations between the two countries. 
Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Mr. Ali Babacan sharing views with Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwala
Minister of State/Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwalla to this effect held meetings with the Turkish leadership here in Ankara. He was accompanied by Secretary Commerce Mr. Munir Qureshi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, and Consul General Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid.
 Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ali Babacan (pronounced as Ali Babajan) in his meeting with the visiting dignitary assured his government’s full support in encouraging Turkish companies to invest in Pakistan. Both the leaders agreed that existing huge reservoir of emotions and goodwill between Turkey and Pakistan will certainly help in further improving economic relations.

They also discussed the Istanbul-Islamabad cargo goods train (Gul Train) and agreed that running such train on a regular basis will make it a viable project. They referred to High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) which is a highest level decision making forum between the two countries in the economic field. HLCC was indeed a milestone in the history Pakistan-Turkey relations and under this platform many agreements were signed in the economic and commercial field.

The Pakistani delegation also held extensive discussions with Turkey’s Deputy Minister for Economy Mr. Mustafa Sever and his team. Mr. Sever informed that currently Turkish companies have about US$365 million investment portfolio in Pakistan.  Both the dignitaries noted that although bilateral trade crossed the threshold of US$1 billion last year, but concerted efforts are required to keep this momentum. They agreed that the signing of proposed comprehensive PTA would address all issues including the textile sector.
Mr. Mandviwala said he is personally in touch with the Turkish companies who have investment projects in Pakistan or who are planning to come and invest in Pakistan. He informed that he will be meeting with many such investors in Istanbul. Mr. Mandviwalla said Pakistan will encourage investment in steel sector and invited steel manufacturers to consider establishing world class steel plants in Pakistan.

Turkey’s Deputy Minister for Economy Mr. Mustafa Sever presenting a memento to Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwala at Ankara on 18 October

Turkish President receives President of Pakistan’s Special Envoy, Turkey-Pakistan agrees to boost economic ties

ANKARA, 17 October 2012: Turkish President Mr. Abdullah Gul here today warmly received Minister of State/Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwalla.
Mr. Mandviwalla, who is visiting Turkey as a Special Envoy of President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari, delivered a special message from him to President Gul.
President Gul agreed with Mr. Mandviwalla that both Pakistan and Turkey need to focus energies on further enhancing their economic and commercial relations. President Gul emphasized that the two countries should make concerted efforts to meet the target of US$ 2 billion bilateral trade by 2012. Mr. Mandviwalla brought to the attention of President Gul the negative impact of safeguard measures imposed by Turkey on Pakistan’s textile exports to Turkey and underlined the need for urgently concluding a comprehensive Preferential Trade Arrangement between the two countries.
President Gul said Turkish leadership is encouraging businessmen to further expand their investment ventures in Pakistan, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. President Gul also referred to the Istanbul-Islamabad cargo goods train project (Gul Train) and stressed the need for effective and efficient operations of the cargo train. This will give further momentum to economic activities in the entire region, he added.
Mr. Mandviwalla briefed the Turkish President about the state of Pakistan’s economy and investment policies. Mr. Mandviwalla stated that attractive investment policies such as 100% equity, profit and dividend repatriation make Pakistan a good candidate for global investment.
Secretary Commerce Mr. Munir Qureshi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, Consul General Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid and Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Moin-ul-Haq were also present in the meeting.
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Transportation links between Turkey-Pakistan to be improved

ANKARA, 17 October 2012:  In order to boost economic relations and people to people contact between Pakistan and Turkey, the existing rail, road and air links shall be further improved. Pakistan’s Minister of State/Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwalla discussed these proposals in a meeting with Turkish Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Mr. Binali Yildirim here today.

The Turkish Minister agreed with Mr. Mandviwala on the need for improving existing cargo train operations. Mr. Yildirim also suggested increasing the frequency of flights between the two countries. He said Pakistan is a brotherly country and there are many venues of collaboration in trade and investment.

Mr. Mandviwalla, who is visiting Turkey as a Special Envoy of President of Pakistan, said coming to Turkey is like coming to his second home. He said more connectivity will automatically increase people to people contacts. He showed his optimism that existing cargo train “Gul train” running on pilot basis between Pakistan and Turkey is a viable commercial venture. After increasing the frequency of this cargo train, both countries will commence passenger train, added the visiting dignitary.

Secretary Commerce Mr. Munir Qureshi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat and Consul General Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid were also present in the meeting.

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Pakistan-Turkey signs Letter of Intent - ERRA to construct Educational Facility for Van quake victims

ANKARA, 15 October 2012: The Government of Pakistan will construct a state of the art education facility for the 2011 Van earthquake affectees in eastern Turkey. A Letter of Intent to this affect was signed here today between the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) of Pakistan and Turkish Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

Chairman ERRA Mr. Hamid Yar Hiraj signed the agreement on behalf of Pakistan and Mr. Sinan Yildiz, Deputy Director General of AFAD signed on behalf of Turkey while Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat witnessed the signing ceremony. Deputy Chairman ERRA Maj. Gen. Muhammad Azeem Asif was also present on the occasion.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Hamid Yar Hiraj said the proposed education facility, once constructed, will be a long lasting symbol of Pakistan-Turkey friendship. He said the entire Pakistani nation was saddened when we heard about the the October 2011 Van earthquake and offered all possible assistance based on Pakistan’s own experience in dealing with such disasters.

Mr. Hiraj also referred to the Turkish contribution for rehabilitation of the 2005 earthquake affectees in Pakistan. He said quality Turkish construction in the shape of quick impact projects such as schools and hospitals is visible in the rehabilitated areas of Pakistan.

Video: Free use of event’s video clip: http://youtu.be/tTCuNZ2BmCI
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28th meeting of COMCEC at Istanbul, Pakistan urges OIC members to focus on SME sector that will ensure growth

ISTANBUL, 11 October 2012: The 28th session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held in Istanbul from 9-11 October 2012.

Various Ministers from OIC member states represented their governments while the inaugural session was opened by Turkish Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Pakistan delegation was led by Senior Minister and Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim.

COMCEC Secretariat in consultation with OIC member countries honoured Pakistan by asking H.E. Makhdoom Amin Fahim to make a speech on behalf of the Asia Group. In his speech, Makhdoom Amin Fahim appreciated the role of OIC and COMCEC for the development of member countries through various initiatives. He emphasized on the need for greater economic and technical cooperation among members and urged members to benefit from each other’s expertise. He mentioned Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) sector as a vehicle for growth. He said it is imperative that we focuss our energies on the development of the SME sector.

The Pakistani dignitary also emphasized on expediating necessary work on operationalizing Trade Preferencial System (TPS-OIC) among member countries. Referring to the “Ten-Year Programme of Action” of OIC, Mr. Amin Fahim said this comprehensive document shows a way forward for Muslim Ummah to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
The honourable Minister thanked the Government of Turkey and COMCEC Secretariat for hosting the event. 

Ex-PM says Pakistani democratization can follow in Turkish footsteps

Ex-PM says Pakistani democratization can follow in Turkish footsteps

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has lauded Turkey's efforts in judicial reform, in politically sidelining its military and towards writing a civilian constitution to replace its current military-dictated one, saying that Pakistan can also take these beneficial steps towards democratization.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Today's Zaman last week on the eve of the fourth congress of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), which he attend as a foreign dignitary on the invitation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gillani said that Turkey and Pakistan share very similar political experiences, having both suffered through military coups several times in their history.
“Turkey brought a lot of changes and reforms. We appreciate that. We can take ... good points from them,” said Gillani.
Pakistan introduced a process of constitutional reforms in mid-2010 to do away with most of the constitutional changes introduced during the authoritarian rule of Generals Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf, who led Pakistan for nearly 20 years of the past three decades.
Gillani noted the deep historical, cultural and religious ties between Pakistan and Turkey, expressing that the two “act as one nation.” He also mentioned the sacrifices made by Pakistani people during the Turkish War of Independence, a memory deeply rooted in the minds of Turks.
“At the same time, we are inclined to further strengthen our relationship, to further improve our trade with Turkey, and we should also enhance our relationship in many multifaceted areas like infrastructure, communication [and] energy,” said Gillani.
With regard to economic relations, the two countries have established the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) forum, visiting each other yearly. Turkey and Pakistan are also increasing their level of military partnership and cooperation in their fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, with a special focus on common research and development in the defense industry.
The former prime minister also said that Pakistan lends its full support to Turkey's EU accession bid. “Turkey is a great friend and we are maintaining very good relations with [the] EU. Therefore, if it is a part of [the] EU, it [Turkey] will be more beneficial for us,” noted Gillani.
The EU is Pakistan's biggest export market and a major source of financial aid. Turkey is geographically an important gateway to the EU for Pakistan.
Gillani also said he appreciated Turkey's contributions to security in war-torn Afghanistan as well as Turkey's role in mediating between Pakistan and Afghanistan, between which exists a deficit of trust. Both parties accuse each other of supporting Taliban insurgents, creating security concerns in both countries.
“Turkey brought Afghanistan and Pakistan ... together. It played an extremely important role through trilateral talks,” Gillani affirmed.
He also emphasized that Pakistan and the US must work more closely in the sharing of intelligence and that there should be greater cooperation between the two in order to ease their lack of trust in the fight against terrorism.
“Pakistan and [the] US are allies, [and have been for] more than 60 years. There could be ups and downs in our relationship, but we want to maintain excellent relations with [the] US, but on mutual respect and mutual interest. There can be some differences on the strategy; we have to sit and think about that so that there should be no trust deficit and we should trust each other,” Gillani maintained.

‘Our religion teaches us to refrain from violence'

While deploring a controversial anti-Islam film that has recently sparked anger in Egypt, Libya and dozens of other Muslim countries, Gillani warned the protesting Muslims not to fall into the trap of those “who want to destroy the image of Islam.”
“Our religion teaches us to refrain from violent actions. ... Therefore ... such provocations help those people who really want to destroy the image of Islam. We have to be very cautious and careful in responding to such issues,” Gillani remarked.
Thousands of Pakistanis were also infuriated by the film, leading to violent protests in which three people were killed and dozens injured.

Courtesy: Today's Zaman, 3 October 2012, http://www.todayszaman.com/news-294050-ex-pm-says-pakistani-democratization-can-follow-in-turkish-footsteps.html

Keşmir yüreğimizin kanayan yarası

Saadet Partisi Genel Başkanı Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kamalak, Keşmir Parlamento Komitesi Başkanı Mevlana Fazıl-Ur Rahman ve Pakistan'ın Ankara Büyükelçiliği İkinci Katibi Saad Ahmed ile beraberindeki heyeti kabul etti.
Kabülde konuşan Kamalak, Keşmir'in İslam dünyası açısından önemine değinerek, "Keşmir bizim canımız, ciğerimiz. Yüreğimizin kanayan yarası" dedi.  İslam coğrafyalarındaki kan ve gözyaşlarının ancak ve ancak ülkelerin birlikte hareket etmeleri ile son bulacağının altını çizen Kamalak, "Bu acılar ancak İslam Birliği'nin kurulması ile son bulacak. Hocamız 1997 yılında D-8'leri kurdu. D-8'ler İslam Birliği'nin temelini oluşturacak. Onun için bütün Müslüman ülkeler D-8'i canlandırmalıdır" dedi.
Kamalak, Müslüman ülkelerin birbirleri ile düşman değil kardeş olması gerektiğinin de önemine işaret ederek, "Müslüman ülkeler birbirlerinin düşmanı değil kardeşi olmalı. İslam ülkeleri bağımsız ancak bir dizenin taneleri gibi olmalı. Bunun için bir araya gelerek hareket etmeliyiz" açıklamasında bulundu.  Keşmir Parlamento Komitesi Başkanı Mevlana Fazıl-Ur Rahman ise Kamalak'ın sözlerine katıldığını belirterek, bu konuda çalışmaların daha da yoğunlaşması gerektiğini söyledi. Rahman ayrıca Milli Görüş'ün Merhum Lideri Prof. Dr. Necmettin Erbakan ile ilgili anılarını da hatırlatarak, "Dualarımız sizinle" dedi.
03 EKİM 2012 ÇAR

Kashmir is a bleeding wound in our hearts

The Chairman of Saadet Party, Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kamalak received Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir and Saad Ahmed, Second Secretary of the Ankara Embassy of Pakistan, along with the accompanying delegation.
During the meeting, Kamalak mentioned the importance of Kashmir for the Islamic World
and said, “Kashmir is very dear to us. It is our heart’s bleeding wound”. Emphasizing that
the tears and blood in the Islam geography can only end with the nations acting together,
Kamalak added, “This pain will end only with the establishment of the Islamic Union. Our leader established the D-8 in 1997. The D-8 will constitute the foundation of the Islamic Union. This is why all the Muslim countries must revive the D-8.”

Kamalak pointed out that the Muslim countries must see each other as brothers and not
enemies and said, “The Muslim countries must be bothers to each other and not enemies.
Thw Muslim countries must be independent but at the same they should form the beads on
a single string. For this we should come together and act in unity”. Head of the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Maulana Fazlur Rahman said that he agreed with the statements of Kamalak and work on this issue must be further more intensified. Rahman also recalled his memories regarding the Deceased Leader of the National Vision, Prof. Dr. Necmettin Erbakan and said “Our prayers are with you”.