2024-05-10 18:47:25

How Pak-Turk Defense Partnership Can Reinstate Muslim Dignity


"In the Islamic world, Pakistan and Turkey are two countries that hold prominent positions among the top ten countries in terms of their defensive capabilities. Before Erdog╠ćan's era, Turkey was a weak country in terms of its defense industry, fulfilling only about twenty percent of its needs with local resources. This is why Turkey couldn't achieve much success against terrorism for a long time and during the war against terrorism, NATO member countries not only avoided providing Turkey with arms but also imposed several restrictions on it.

During this time, if any country was fulfilling Turkey's defense needs, such as providing ammunition, it was Pakistan. Do you know that during the Cyprus war when the whole world turned its back on Turkey, it was only Pakistan that provided all possible assistance to Turkey without bowing to America's pressure? I remember vividly, back in 1974 when my brother in law who were in navy at that time, visited Turkish friends in Cyprus, many Turkish Cypriots warmly welcomed them as Pakistanis (because until then, no Pakistani had visited Cyprus). He wass hosted at the residence of the then Governor of Famagusta, Ismet Inonu, and for several days, many prominent Turkish Cypriot leaders kept coming to meet us, expressing gratitude to Pakistan, which was a matter of pride for all of us.

Pakistan was like a remedy for Turkey during that time. America provided Pakistan with sixteen fighter jets, and the world acknowledges the skill of Pakistani pilots. Pakistani pilots trained Turkish pilots on the F-16 aircraft, and interestingly, even the current Prime Minister and later President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was highly impressed by the skills of Pakistani pilots, and for a long time, Pakistani pilots continued to fly his personal planes. I remember him fondly, and he still keeps in touch despite his busy schedule. He was deeply impressed by Pakistan's progress during his student days and after being influenced by Pakistan, he introduced the free market economic system in Turkey for the first time. Otherwise, before Erdogan, importing any foreign goods in Turkey was prohibited, and even keeping a dollar in the pocket was considered a crime.

After Erdogan came into power, Turkey faced several years of political instability. However, shortly after Erdogan's regime, Turkey once again started progressing. At present, Turkey fulfills eighty percent of its defense needs with local resources, and it won't be long before Turkey meets all its defense needs locally and then competes with superpowers by exporting its defense equipment to other countries.

The current Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif, who has a special place in his heart for Turkey, has not hesitated to enhance these relations during his tenure. Their efforts have brought Turkey and Pakistan closer once again, and during the visit of Turkish Chief of General Staff, General Metin Gürak to Pakistan, discussions were held to further promote cooperation in the defense industry between Turkey and Pakistan.

Generally, Pakistan and Turkey have always helped each other openly in difficult times without caring about the pressure from any country. At present, due to the rapid progress in Turkey's defense industry, they are busy preparing to join the ranks of great countries of Europe like America, China, and Russia. Currently, 2,500 defense industries are operating in Turkey, and their number is continuously increasing. When selecting foreign experts for the defense industry, Turkey always gives priority to Pakistani experts, and that's why many Pakistani experts are working in major defense industry companies in Turkey.

Pakistan has initiated several joint defense projects with Turkey. Discussions are underway for the joint production of stealth fighter jets prepared by Turkey for Pakistan. General discussions are expected to continue during General Gürak's visit to Pakistan to further promote cooperation in the defense industry and benefit from Turkey's experiences.

During this time, Pakistan has also bought three billion dollars worth of defense equipment from Turkey. Besides, cooperation with Turkey continues on the Milgem project. Maritime vessels will prove essential in enhancing Pakistan's maritime security. In fact, this project is the best example of the historical friendship and brotherly relations between Turkey and Pakistan."

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