Erdogan’s cooperation pledge flashed on Pakistani media

Pictures featuring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Imran Khan -- shaking hands and addressing joint news conference -- on the second day of Khan's maiden visit to Turkey remained the top trend on Pakistani media on Saturday.

Khan, who took oath as Pakistan's 19th Prime Minister in last August following his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)'s victory in July 2018 general elections, completed his two-day visit to Turkey -- a longtime ally of this South Asian nuclear state -- on Friday.

Local broadcasters and dailies made the joint news conference of the two leaders their headlines focusing on Erdogan's pledge to increase economic and defense cooperation with Islamabad.

The news press conference was not only aired live on almost all the local broadcasters but was also the headline of their news bulletins on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to that, the local media also gave an ostensible coverage to a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Ankara that discussed the regional security issues, mainly Afghanistan.

Qureshi accompanied Khan in his visit to Turkey.

Daily Jang -- the country's largest Urdu daily -- in its front page headline highlighted the ongoing defense and security cooperation between the two countries, especially in regard to reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The newspaper also appreciated -- in a separate story -- an unusually warm welcome accorded to Pakistani premier during his visit.

'Turkey to host Afghan peace summit'

Dawn -- the country's oldest and most reputable English daily -- with its headline Turkey to host Afghan peace summit" highlighted Erdogan's plan to invite the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan to Ankara for a meeting aimed at bringing peace to the war-stricken and resolving a lingering mistrust between the two neighbors.

Islamabad and Kabul have long been accusing each other of patronizing militants involved in attacks on military and civilians in both countries.

Express -- another largely circulated Urdu daily -- in its front page lead flashed the two leaders' pledge to fight terrorism, with President Erdogan praising Islamabad for declaring Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) a terrorist group.

The Express Tribune -- an English daily -- in its front page headline Erdogan pleased with ban on Gulen outfit flashed the Turkish president's assurance that his country would continue to support Pakistan in the future, adding that there is a very strong support for Pakistan in Turkey.

Pakistani Supreme Court last month ordered the government to declare the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) a terror group and ban its affiliated schools in the country.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Express and Dawn newspapers also pointed Khan's desire to seek Turkey's cooperation in health, education, and infrastructure sectors.

Khan, during the joint news conference, had said that he wanted to replicate in Pakistan the educational, health and judicial reforms introduced by Erdogan in Turkey.

Turkey-Pakistan ties

Erdogan is considered one of the most favorite foreign leaders in Pakistan. During July general elections, many political parties and politicians promised to introduce the policies of the Turkish president to put the country on the path of progress should they win the polls.

Another Urdu daily Jasart flashed Ankara and Islamabad's support for each other's stance on several simmering issues pertaining to Muslim Ummah -- particularly Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir and Rohingya Muslims.

The newspaper also pointed Khan's desire to seek Turkey's help vis-a--vis his ambitious plan for construction of 5 million houses for the homeless people in the country.

Daily Nawa-e-Waqt -- another big Urdu daily -- highlighted the growing defense and security cooperation between the two countries, including Islamabad's support to Ankara's war against Daesh and other terrorist groups.

In October, Pakistan Navy commissioned a 17,000-ton fleet tanker it has built in collaboration with a Turkish defense contractor, STM.

Pakistan is set to receive 30 T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance (ATAK) helicopters from Turkey under a deal finalized in July last year.

The helicopters, specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance, will be delivered gradually over five years.

Ankara is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building a fleet tanker.

In July last year, Ankara won a multibillion-dollar tender to supply four corvettes to Pakistan Navy -- a deal dubbed as the biggest export for Turkey's defense industry in history by the then National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli.

Source: Anadolu Agency