LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was given exceptional welcome during his visit to Turkey on Saturday, where he held meetings with Turkish President Recep Teyyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Bin Yildrim, minister and senior officials.
A luncheon was held in the honour of the chief minister by the Turkish premier. On the directions of the Turkish leadership, the visits of the chief minister to various hospitals and public service departments were arranged.
Speaking on the occasion, Shehbaz Sharif said the people of Pakistan and Turkey share similar approach on international affairs. He added that promoting ties with Turkey has been the top priority of the PML-N government for the last four years.
“Turkey has always supported Pakistan whether it is war, flood and earthquake, and the people of Pakistan can never forget this support,” the CM said, adding that friendly ties between both countries are strengthening with every passing day.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Yildrim said Pakistan and Turkey are bound in an exemplary relationship and no power of the world can damage these ties.
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He added the leaderships of both countries are working on the fast track to translate bilateral ties into solid economic links. “Enemies of Turkey are enemies of Pakistan and friends of Turkey are friends of Pakistan.”
The Turkish leader said Pakistan has rendered enormous sacrifices in the war against terrorism and no country has the right to criticise Pakistan in this regard. He also assured that Turkey will provide cooperation in the residential facilities for the low income group, transport, health, peace and other fields.
The premier agreed to the proposal of the chief minister a working group should constituted to promote trade ties between both countries in which officials of both countries should be included.
He congratulated the chief minister on the behalf of Turkish government and people on his arrival in Istanbul, saying this tour would further cement friendly and brotherly ties between both countries.
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Pakistani students learning Turkish language in Turkey called on CM Shehbaz Sharif, who told them they are the country’s ambassadors and they should show through their actions and hard work that Pakistanis are the best nation.
Shehbaz asked them to make extraordinary efforts to learn Turkish because hard work is the key to success. He said the Punjab government will send more students to Turkey to learn Turkish on the government expenditures.
The students thanked the chief minister and the Punjab government, saying they got the chance to learn Turkish language due to personal interest of Shehbaz Sharif. They said they have received exceptional love from the Turkish people and they promised that they would utilise every moment of their trip to achieve exceptional command over Turkish language.
Pakistani Consulate in Turkey Dr Yusuf Junaid said best possible facilities have been provided to the students learning Turkish and these facilities will also be provided in future as well.
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Under the Punjab government’s Turkish language program, 30 students have been sent to University of Istanbul on the government scholarship. Turkish ambassador to Pakistan Syrus Sajjad Qazi was also present on the occasion.
CM Shehbaz Sharif also visited the Fatih Sultan Muhammad Hospital, Istanbul where he was given a detailed briefing on the hospital. Speaking on the occasion, the CM said the measures taken by the Turkish government in the health sector are exemplary and the Punjab government is also trying to learn from Turkish experiences. He visited various parts of the hospital.
Separately, talking to a delegation of Turkish investors, the chief minister said Turkish cooperation in the energy field and other sectors will be remembered by coming generation of Pakistan. He added that “roots of Pak-Turkey cooperation are very deep and for translating these relations into the economic improvement we are thankful to the Turkish leadership.” He said the success of Turkey is role model for developing countries.
He urged the Turkish investors working on the solar power projects to complete their project by the middle of November. The 300MW power plant being established in Bahawalpur by the Zorlu company is the first plant of Pakistan of its kind in terms of price of electricity.
The 200MW portion of the project will provide electricity at the cost of 5.15 cent per unit that will be a record.
CM Shehbaz further said the providing cheap electricity to the people is his mission and he will make every possible effort to realise this dream.