Pakistan, Turkey to gain from PM Khan’s visit: Analysts

Visit will be harbinger of change for both countries, which enjoy strong relations

Pakistan, Turkey to gain from PM Khan’s visit: Analysts

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Turkey this week augurs well for bilateral ties, analysts said Monday.

"This visit will be a harbinger of change, as President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Khan are both known to be rulers of hearts amongst millions of their voters and followers," Ibrahim Qazi, a Lahore-based political analyst, told Anadolu Agency.

Khan will pay a two-day official visit to Ankara on Thursday at the invitation of Erdogan, according to Pakistan’s Foreign Office -- his first to the country since assuming his post in August.

He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Planning Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Commerce and Trade Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood.

"Relations between Pakistan and Turkey are based on a very strong history, and I think this is a good opportunity for Imran Khan to further strengthen economic and defense ties with Ankara," said Imran Ullah Khan, an Islamabad-based international relations analyst. 

Defense ties with Turkey are a major source of support for Pakistan, Khan added

Ankara and Islamabad have developed strong ties in recent years, especially in defense and security.

In July this year, Turkey won a multibillion-dollar tender to supply four corvette ships to the Pakistani Navy, a deal dubbed as Turkey’s biggest single military export deal by then-Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli.

In May 2017, Turkish and Pakistani defense companies struck another deal for the construction of four Turkish Ada class MILGEM (National Ship) corvettes.

The procurement of ATAK-129 helicopters and defense cooperation will also remain on the agenda, Qazi said.

"Pakistan and Turkey also need to sign a dual nationality agreement, because at the moment, citizens have to relinquish [their citizenship] for another, which has created a social void, and it’s time that the talent pool of Turkish and Pakistani expatriates share both countries as a home away from home,” he said.

According to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign affairs, Khan will also address a business forum and hold several meetings with Turkish businessmen and potential investors during his stay in Ankara.

"The prime minister’s upcoming visit to Turkey will further reinforce the historic ties between the governments and peoples of the two brotherly countries,” said ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal.

It will also help the two countries explore new areas of cooperation and collaboration, particularly in the areas of economic, trade and commercial relations, Faisal added.