Special Envoy of Pakistan visits Kosovo Signs joint communique on establishment of diplomatic relations

Ankara, 29 January 2013:  President of Pakistan’s Special Envoy and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan visited the Republic of Kosovo from 27-29 January and held meetings with the Kosovan leadership including the President, Prime Minister, President of the Parliament, Foreign Minister, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Trade & Industry, and President of Chamber of Commerce. It was an historical occasion as Malik Amad Khan was the first senior Pakistani official to visit Kosovo after Pakistan formally recognized the Republic of Kosovo in December last year.

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga on Monday received Malik Amad Khan who personally handed her a letter signed by President Asif Ali Zardari about the recognition of Kosovo. The Special Envoy stated that the recognition has been accorded in support of the aspirations of the people of Kosovo for independence.  President of Kosovo expressed her gratitude to Pakistan upon their recognition of independence and regarded this as an important step towards the international consolidation of the country and its further democratization.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr. Hashim Thaçi also received the Special Envoy. He expressed his great appreciation for the recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Pakistan. This will encourage Kosovo’s comprehensive cooperation with Pakistan, advancing bilateral relations between the two countries. Both the leaders discussed opportunities for collaboration between the two countries in the economy, trade and education fields. Both agreed that there is a wide scope for an enhanced institutional, cultural and social cooperation Kosovo and Pakistan.

In his meetings with other high profile Kosovan officials including President of the Assembly of Kosovo Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, Foreign Minister Mr. Enver Hoxhaj, Economy & Trade Ministers and business community, it was agreed to create necessary facilitative framework for promoting commercial relations including Free Trade Agreement and Agreement on Protection of Investment and Avoidance of Double Taxation.

Earlier, the Minister of State and the Kosovan Foreign Minister signed a joint communique for establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat who has been concurrently accredited as Ambassador to Kosovo also accompanied the Special Envoy.

Turkey to build fleet tanker for Pakistan Navy

Contract for construction of Fleet Tanker (Logistic Support Ship) for Pakistan Navy was signed between Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), Pakistan and M/s STM of Turkey on 22 Jan 2013 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. The contract has been signed by Director General Munitions Productions Rear Admiral Imtiaz Ahmed SI(M) on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and Ms. Elife Unal, Chairperson of the Board of M/s STM and the Department Head of Electronics Warfare and Sensors programmes in SSM on behalf of M/s STM, Turkey.

The main highlights of the project are that, design of the ship alongwith kit of Material (KoM) will be provided by M/s STM and the complete construction/assembly activities will be undertaken at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Ltd (KS & EW). Ship construction is a strategic industry, infact no country has gained the status of a developed country without the development of the shipbuilding industry and trained manpower in this field. Therefore, construction Fleet Tanker at KS& EW will not only enhance ship construction (tanker) capacity/expertise of the KS & EW but will also help in developing its human resource to meet the future challenges of warship design and construction. Local downstream industry, in the long run will also benefit from the ship construction in the form of procurement of construction consumables by KS& EW from the local market.

The Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works is already constructing ships/craft for PN, however, this is the first time in the history of Pakistan that KS& EW will build a Fleet Tanker/Logistics Support Ship at its facilities. Construction of the Fleet Tanker is in line with Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila NI (M), Chief of the Naval Staff’s vision of achieving self reliance and indigenization of defence equipment. The tanker with its modern design and state of the art capabilities will significantly enhance PN’s Fleet combat prowess and logistic stamina.

KS&EW has three main business areas: building military and civil vessels, ship repair and heavy engineering. It builds vessels for all of Pakistan’s port authorities. Since inception in the 1950s the yard has built around 440 different vessels and is equipped build large vessels, such as naval vessels, tugs, dredgers, hopper barges, ferries, trawlers and launches.

Ship repair is a major part of KS&EW’s undertakings and the company has so far repaired more than 5,000 domestic and international vessels. In order to enhance the capacity and capability for shipbuilding and repair, KS&EW is installing a ship lift and transfer system, which is due to be completed by the current year.

The partnership in the field of defence production is reflective of the relations enjoyed by two countries. Pakistan and Turkey have long-standing strategic ties. Both brotherly Muslim countries have time-tested relations. Today’s ceremony was prestigious, bringing further closer the two countries.

Pakistan and Turkey are Key Actors for a True Solution in Afghanistan

International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) hosted at the USAK Workshop Hall Pakistan’s Ambassador to Ankara, H.E. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, on January 10th, 2013. Within the framework of the conference series entitled “Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century and Diplomacy”, our keynote speaker Mr. Shaukat was ready at the fifth event of the abovementioned conference series to introduce for one and a half hour the foreign affairs of Pakistan and Turkey-Pakistan relations to a distinguished audience.

Mr. Shaukat also elaborated deeply on his country’s prospects for international peace and stability, economic development and further democratization. He explained his country’s attitude and recent practices with respect to its foreign relations with India, Russia, Central Asia, Iran, China and the Middle East. Nevertheless, the main focus of his to-the-point speech and relevant discussions revolved around Pakistani foreign policy perspective, with special emphasis on security and economy, towards Turkey, Afghanistan and the U.S.

An esteemed delegation consisting of high-level diplomats from the Embassy of Pakistan accompanied Mr. Ambassador during the conference. Among the high-level participants of the conference were top diplomats, scholars, media members and experts from related government agencies. The conference was formally organized by Assoc. Prof. Selçuk Çolakoğlu, Director of USAK Center for Asia-Pacific Studies.

Below is a brief summary of the points raised by Mr. Ambassador in accordance with the official political stance of his country throughout the conference regarding the backbone subjects assertively pronounced.

An overview: Pakistan’s foreign policy

Pakistan’s policy priority is to create a democratic Pakistan that is stable, peaceful, progressive, moderate, forward looking and prosperous. Foreign policy is considered by Pakistani authorities rightfully as an instrument to achieve these aspirations and as a natural prolongation of domestic endeavors aimed at growth and development.

Pakistan’s foremost foreign policy perspective compasses its own region and neighbors. In that vein; Afghanistan, India, China, Iran, Central Asian countries and Russia constitute the priority domain of contemporary Pakistani foreign affairs.

Pakistan is placed in the center of a geo-political energy crescent consisted of the Middle East, Iran, Caspian Basin and Central Asia. The country is also rich with strategic mineral resources. It is surrounded by three emerging economies; namely India, China and Russia.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s foreign policy elbow-room is narrowed by various disadvantages, such as religious extremism and terrorism spreading throughout its territory and neighborhood. The country is located within a complex regional security environment which was subjected to militarism and conflict over three decades. Hence, the historical experiences of the country have unfortunately caused it to become familiar with militancy and an extremist mind-set.

The war in Afghanistan

Pakistan believes that the NATO/ISAF decade in Afghanistan had mixed results over regional stability and with respect to the national interests of Pakistan, as well as over the Afghan population. In addition, the on-going race between powerful international actors for influence in Central Asia bears signs of actualization of the “New Great Game” scenario. These two factors had unprecedented influence over Pakistani society, in terms of radicalization and alienation. Also, the human and economic cost of the war in Afghanistan on Pakistan was leaden.

Since 2008, there has been a “climate change” in Pak-Afghan relations. Today, the most important capital for Pakistan is Kabul. Pakistan is well-convinced that a peaceful and stable Afghanistan constitutes a pre-requisite for stability and peace in Pakistan. Therefore Islamabad favors an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” process regarding the shaping of social and political dynamics in the post-NATO period in Afghanistan. Pakistan supports grounds for reconciliation in its neighborhood including Afghanistan, but believes that the essential solution to the problems of Afghanistan can only emerge domestically in the latter.

Today, there is a national consensus across political parties and opinion-leaders in Pakistan: Afghanistan is a key neighbor and the promotion of mutual respect and dignity in bilateral relations with this sensitive neighbor is vital. Afghan President Karzai and Pakistani President Zardari has close contacts, and Pakistan firmly believes that it needs to bear the responsibility to outreach Afghanistan’s material and political fabric deeply in order to sustain stability and progress in its neighbor. In that vein, Pakistan’s contribution to Afghan reconstruction and development have reached a level over 320 million dollars in total.

Regarding the humanitarian aspect of the Afghanistan issue, the ambassador stated that there are over 50,000 daily crossings across the Pak-Afghan border. Over half a million Afghan students have benefitted from the education system in Pakistan, including Afghan refugees whose total number has surpassed 3 million so far. Furthermore, the government of Pakistan is currently offering 2000 fully-funded graduate and post-graduate scholarships for Afghan students. Hence, current Afghan enrollment corresponds to a number over 7000 students in Pakistan.

APTTA (Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement) also contributed positively to the people-to-people interaction between the two countries as well as to the limited income of Afghan merchants involved. In the future, Pakistani authorities hope to see their efforts bear fruits in actualizing energy connectivity projects such as TAPI and CASA 1000 which will, as projected, increase regional countries’ profits, interdependency, industrial opportunities and stability as a whole.

Pakistan-Turkey relations

The relationship between the two countries is a special one marked by immense reservoir of goodwill at both sides. Special affinity at people-to-people level still stands robust thanks to shared instances in history, as well as a diverse set of shared values, faith, culture and traditions. Regular exchange of high level visits has never been a rare instance for the leaders of the two countries either.

The establishment of High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) in 2009 gave a strategic dimension to contemporary bilateral relations. In the multilateral fora as well, the support provided by both sides to the other is clearly visible. Extraordinary financial and material support to each other, during natural disasters (for instance the 2005 earthquake and the recent flood disasters), was also provided by both societies sincerely.

Over 90 agreements or memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with reference to political, economic, commercial, defense, media, health, cultural and educational issues were signed until now between the two brotherly nations. An effective follow-up mechanism has been established to carry out a review of the status and implementation of all the bilateral agreements thanks to the encouragement of both peoples and the endeavors of Turkish as well as Pakistani leaders. There exists a robust relationship between parliaments and armed forces, as well as several security institutions of both countries.

Recent years have witnessed a rapid growth in cooperation throughout the fields of education, student exchange and cultural interactions. 2013 was declared in Pakistan as the year for Turkish culture, which paved the way for an enormous potential in print and electronic media exchanges. On the other side, economic relations in the bilateral realm are flourishing as well. Bilateral trade has increased ten-fold in the last decade or so, from $132 million in 2001 to $1.1 billion in 2011.

However, Turkey’s safeguard measures on textiles and certain chemicals have adversely affected Pakistan’s exports. The negotiations are still on-going for remedial measures as there looms an enormous scope for bilateral trade and investments in the horizon. Currently, key sectors of commercial relations between Turkey and Pakistan are energy, infrastructure construction (yielding successful dam and highway projects), transport and communications, consumer industry, agriculture and agricultural industry. Still, there is an urgent need to enhance banking relations to finance such projects in coordination. Although connectivity issues also constitute an impediment to the development of bilateral economic relations as well, two countries’ economies are complementary in their nature. Nevertheless, an FTA has still not been signed by the two parties.

By and large, Turkey has unique relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan as well, due to historical ties and the on-going trilateral process in practice. Seven trilateral summits took place within this framework until now, and three policy tracks were commonly adopted: political dialogue, security dialogue and development track (İstanbul Forum). Pragmatic trilateral training programs and capacity building in diverse areas through joint exercises are all practiced effectively thanks to this trilateral process. Confidence-building measures (CBMs) put forth via the İstanbul process further expanded the grounds on which the trilateral partnership is expected to reach higher.


The ambassador of Pakistan finalized his speech with a gesture by referring to Kemal Ataturk’s famous quote, stating that “We (Pakistan) seek peace at home, in the region, and the world”. In the aftermath of his elaborate speech, participants were allocated time for a fruitful Q&A session.

By Emre Tunç Sakaoğlu

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Courtesy: USAK


Provincial Ministers from Pakistan meets Turkish Premier - Pak-Turkey Joint working on Social Protection & Family Policy

ANKARA, 4 January 2013:  Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to form a “Social Protection & Family Policy” working group that shall share experiences and best practices for social welfare of the vulnerable groups.

This was discussed in a meeting here today between the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Social Welfare, Special Education & Women Empowerment Ms. Sitara Ayaz and Sindh Minister for for Social Welfare Ms Nergis N.D. Khan. Turkish Minister for Family & Social Policy Ms Fatma Şahin and Pakistan Ambassador in Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat were also present in the meeting.

Ms Sitara Ayaz briefed the Turkish Prime Minister about the steps taken by her government to rehabilitate the terrorism affected families. The Turkish Prime Minister offered that Turkish Government will establish a model orphanage in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Ms Nergis N.D. Khan briefed the host about her government’s welfare projects for the vulnerable groups.

The visiting Pakistani Ministers earlier attended a two days “International Conference on Family & Social Policies” organized by the Turkish Government. They also met with Ms Fatma Şahin and discussed proposals to enhance cooperation and sharing experiences and best practices for social protection of vulnerable groups in both Pakistani and Turkish societies. Ms Sitara Ayaz reiterated her earlier invitation extended to Ms Fatima Şahin and her Deputy Minister Prof. Dr. Ashkin Asan to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at their earliest convenience.