Turkey is the country where Pakistanis are always given due respect and love, so we can proclaim with confidence that Turkey is true brotherly state of Pakistan. I am glad that PM Khan accepted Turkish president’s invitation. Most pleasant for me is the fact that PM will start his visit from Konya, the loving abode of dervishes, seekers of love and wisdom. I wish I could join him in the visit and tell him all about Rumi and his blessed city. Very few people would have known that Konya is a very modern city, the hub of trade of Turkish carpets and kilims. However, I wonder what Khan learns there about keeping of mazars of saints and what suggestions he passes to Auqaf on return. I hope he meets representatives of 23rd generation of Rumi as well and enjoys SEMA at grand SEMA Hall in Konya led by the master Can Celebi.
Turkey has a long history, being part of Mesopotamia, the cradle of earth, the place where River Arafat (Euphrates) and Dajla (Tigris) originate. Abode of many prophets and saints, the center of the world, Qustuntunia–The Roma Minor, the seat of Byzantines,and countless other historical moments the Turkish land has to offer its travellers. It has also been written in the history books that the Turkish used to trade with citizens of Sindh via old Deebal (Karachi) or may be any other port of Makran, most possibly Gawadar, and the Persians were in great relationship with citizens of Hind (Ganges valley). We still witness these strong ties in states presently. Another significant point in history is Khilafat Movement, and the Turkish always pay huge respect to Muslims of Subcontinent for that.
Another meeting point of these two old friends have been the Holy land of Hijaz when Turkish and Pakistani Engineers and labor predominantly participated in reconstruction of holy mosques of Mecca and Medina, bringing the old friends together again to be tied in yet another strong bond.The students studying in North America and Europe would cherishingly remember their dining in halal Turkish restaurants, praying in Turkish mosques and having at least one Turkish friend in their circle.
Turkey is a diverse country like Pakistan. Society is mixed; though predominantly Muslims, but many are progeny of ladies of Non-Muslim origin brought from Greece, parts of Central Asia and Europe. They are more linked with Europe and are quite distant from living a traditional Muslim life style. Such people populate majority of European side of Turkey. On the other hand, people on Asian side, especially bordering Syria and Iraq are hard core Muslims. The miracle of Erdogan’s government has been to bring together at a meeting point these cross-cultures, and developing harmony among the two. It was perhaps the path of enlightened moderation Musharraf wanted to follow but failed to do so. But he gave space to Hizmet and Gulen’s followers in Pakistan, which had become a strong organization in Pakistan, and acted as a bridge between the NLeague government and the Turkish government of Erdogan. The reason that brought both together also became source of tension between the two, when Turkish staff had to leave Pakistan to seek asylum across the world.
The old ties have been loosened if not broken exactly, and Khan would have to take a fresh start.He must act cautiously and choose wisely. Turkey has still lot to offer to Pakistan, especially in field of engineering and administration. We must acknowledge that Lahore is different from the rest of Pakistan due to Turkish company managing its waste disposal, and the transport. Turkey is much advanced in textile and fashion industry, and the tourism industry as well. If we want to rebuild our industries, we must seek help from them at state level.
Pakistan needs to start program of hospitality management at Tehsil level in all colleges and TEVT institutes; for this purpose, they must get Turkish curriculum, and trainers. Many would ask why Turkish? Yes it is a genuine question. I simply advocate so, because the Turkish have similar Muslim values, which would not be at clash with traditional Muslims of our Northern areas. Their aesthetics match with ours. Moreover, cost would be much lower.Khan Sahib must offer one tourist city to be developed by theTurkish. Of course, Malaysian, Canadian, German and Swiss can join the race later.
The undersea tunnel that the Turkish have built at Bosporus is a huge achievement. The PM must talk about starting a ferry service between Karachi and Gwadar, and cruise in Indian Ocean among other neighboring gulf states with Turkish help. Allocating a portion of beech to develop resorts for water sports is also not a bad idea. We can get as much help and cooperation from Turkey as we want.During a conference in Sharjah,once, I listened to their minister of power and electric supplysaying: we allow everyone to make money in UAE; ‘TOGETHER WE GROW’. PTI should seriously think over adopting this slogan. Cooperation in fashion designing, holding joint fashion shows can give new market to our designers.
Last but not the least; we must increase student and faculty exchange with the Turkish universities. The Turkish are quite ahead in power generation by breaking of hydrogen cell; and administration is the art learned by the rest of the world from Turkish. Therefore, if Khan wants to build a bureaucratic force imbibed with conscientious national spirit and selfless service to fellow citizens, yet the lesson is to be learnt from Turkish.
I wish our dear Prime Minister a huge success. May Allah grant our noble wishes to bring the two nations further closer; Ameen!