PRESIDENT Mamnoon Hussain’s visit to Istanbul necessarily related to OIC as he represented the country at the important Summit of the Islamic world but he availed of the opportunity to have interaction with Turkish leadership with a view to strengthening the bilateral relations in different spheres of life. Their discussions would, hopefully, have a salutary impact on the overall trajectory of exemplary bilateral cooperation.
Pakistan and Turkey are two of the important countries of the OIC and have played pivotal role in its programmes and activities aimed at forging cooperative relationship among member countries in various fields. The Istanbul Summit took place at a time when the Muslim world is facing a multitude of challenges both at internal and external fronts and badly needs coordination to safeguard interests of the Ummah. The forum, considered as voice of the Muslim world, was founded way back in September 1969 and initially it played crucial role in moving towards its stated objective “to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”. However, with the passage of time, as the towering personalities of the Islamic world, faded away, the organization started decaying and now it has been rendered almost irrelevant. So much so that even it fails to hold conferences and summits on crucial occasions, sending dismaying signals to the Ummah. In this backdrop, Turkey deserves appreciation for hosting the important moot aimed at developing a strategic vision with specific priorities addressing peace and security, terrorism, human rights, development, poverty alleviation, eradication of epidemics and rights of women. Incidentally, these are the issues on which both Pakistan and Turkey have gained a lot of experience and it is hoped that they would join hands in practically realizing these objectives through intensive consultations. The visit of the President was also taking place at a time when some elements and forces are trying to destabilize system in Turkey on different pretexts. Turkey always stood along Pakistan through thick and thin and Pakistan would not be lacking in expression of complete solidarity with the brotherly country.