ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit on the invitation of President Mamnoon Hussain, addressed a joint session of the parliament for a third time on Thursday.
Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq welcomed the Turkish President and his delegation during his speech at the start of the session.
“It is an honour to speak you in this parliament once again. Last time in 2012, I was sitting in the same house with you”, said Turkish President.
“A bond of understanding and mutual respect between Pakistan and Turkey are of different nature since Pakistan on every occasion has helped us,” he said.
The president said Turkey was always and would remain a partner of Pakistan come what may.
President Erdogan said, “Turkey and Pakistan have learnt to be together during happy, sad and even tough times”.
“When militants attacked Army Public School in Peshawar, we observed a day of mourning in Turkey,” he added while recalling the tragic incident in the history of Pakistan.
On July 15, when Turkey faced a failed coup, President Erdogan said, “Pakistan send a clear message in our support and against the enemies of Turkey” and thanked the Pakistani government for its support.
He said once again that Fethullah Gulen – US-based self-exiled cleric – was leading a terrorist organisation in at least 120 countries worldwide.
President Erdogan urged Pakistan to dismantle Fethullah Terror Organisation (Feto) networks on its soil, if any, before they start posing a threat to its security.
Erdogan said other terror organisations such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) were working against Muslims and added, “Muslim nations in unison could defeat those evil forces from harming unarmed people and maligning Islam internationally.”
He said those terror outfits, clearly being funded by the west do not represent Islam or Muslims.
The Turkish President said that in a bid to fight terrorist organisations, Pakistan and Turkey must improve cooperation through investments in each other’s countries.
Turning his attention on the issue of Kashmir, he said, “Increasing violence in Kashmir was saddening” and urged Pakistan and India to sit and discuss the issue.
After his address to the parliament, President Erdogan met parliamentarians and dignitaries one by one along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
In today’s session, provincial governors and chief ministers except for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, heads of the Pakistan armed forces and representations from varying political parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), except Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) were also present.