Pakistan’s bilateral economic linkages and defence cooperation’ with Turkey

by Dr. Abida Rafiq

Under an existing and foreseen global and regional environment, the NSP 2022–2026 aims to “co-locate Pakistan in developing global trends and specifies policy objectives and priority sectors.” In order to “secure the safety, security, dignity, and prosperity of our people,” it purports to create “a citizen-centric “Comprehensive National Security” framework for Pakistan.”

A National Security Paper (NSP), which is the final output of the year-long course at the National Defense University (NDU) and the Armed Forces War Course (AFWC), is produced by the participants each year and sent to the country’s political and military leadership, including the Prime Minister, President, CJCSC, and Service Chiefs.

The NDU and the military have made numerous attempts to define the “Defense Policy of Pakistan” and provide sufficient guidance for the creation of its parent document, the NSP.

Both “conventional and non-traditional security characteristics” and threats are something that the NSP strives to identify. As any policy framework with an awareness of the environment would, it places “economic security” at the center of “comprehensive national security.”

It recognizes the complementary functions of geopolitics and geo-economics rather than attempting to replace either.

It demonstrates how a healthy economy allows for a robust security by dedicating greater resources to defense and national security.

In order to improve economy of Pakistan, it need to improve bilateral economic linkages and defence cooperation’ with Turkey.

Pakistan and Turkey agreed to take steps to combat terrorism while also promising to strengthen their strategic and economic ties. Despite of having ideological differences as Pakistan adhered to the Islamic doctrine as the cornerstone of its nationhood, Turkey followed secularism when it became a Republic, setting the two nations apart philosophically, both maintained cordial relations.

The strategic locations of both nations are extremely distinctive and significant. Geographically, Pakistan is situated close to China, which has become a major regional and global economic force, at the intersection of West Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia. In a similar vein, Turkey is situated at the intersection of the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, and the Balkans, regions that are home to vast oil and gas resources as well as frequent and deadly wars.

The areas of collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey could be include commerce, trade, investment, defense manufacturing, tourism, education, and culture. However, despite the enormous potential for mutual cooperation in each of these sectors, neither country was able to take full advantage of it in the past.

Cooperation between Pakistan’s government and the Turkish military has improved Pakistan’s security situation in the region, but it hasn’t been able to fix the country’s economic problems, which have been made worse by the avian influenza outbreak. Both nations provided an overview of trade and investment of $1 billion by Turkish enterprises in Pakistan in January 2021.

Following that, in February 2021, President Erdogan paid a visit to Pakistan, and the leaders of the two countries subsequently signed a Strategic Economic Framework agreement that may cover a wide range of cooperation in the areas of military, trade and investment, science and technology, education, health, tourism, and culture. The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey is still being negotiated. Resuming cargo train service between Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey has been agreed upon to help with the transfer of commodities between neighbours.

In order to aid travelers and businesspeople on both sides, they also inked a citizenship agreement. Pakistan has also started an E-visa programme to aid nationals. Pakistan and Turkey are now making efforts to create a prioritized and balanced bilateral partnership equation. Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey, said that the $800 million in bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey is insufficient and that both nations should be encouraged to reach their full potential. Furthermore, the Pakistani and Turk leaderships signed six bilateral memorandum of understanding on public debt management, Collaboration between credit guarantee institutions for the financing of SME, housing, public-private partnership models, especially knowledge exchange in transportation and health, economic and social policy planning, and technical cooperation in road engineering.

Given their shared history and close brotherly ties, Turkey and Pakistan seem to be a perfect fit as allies in the economic and defense spheres. In conclusion, this strong and profound relationship between the two nations has the potential to strengthen, produce remarkable advantages for their citizens, and serve as a powerful advocate for the concerns of the Muslim World.—The Writer is Research Officer, CISS-AJK, Email: abi186@yahoo.coma


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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir