Pak-Turkey Naval Diplomacy By Muhammad Sohail Ahmed

The Pakistan Navy is the naval warfare uniform service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces serving the motherland in forefront of the seaside. Pakistan Navy is playing a commendable role in National security of Pakistan, the security of nation, state including citizens, economy and institutions are considered to be the national security and regarded as a duty of government. Pakistan Navy is the guardian of nations to avoid sea threats from all sides. In recent visit to Turkey, the Navy chief of Pakistan signed a contract for 4 type MILGEM Class anti-submarine corvette equipped with stealth technology and designed by Turkish shipyard. The enormous mechanism is that the president of Turkey was the chief guest in the ceremony. In his address, he spoke with a clear vision about the future. It encompassed Turkish will and desire to take Pakistan shipbuilding Industry and Pakistan Navy in its pursuit for self-sufficiency, through designing, building and maintenance. This a capability that so far only ten countries in the world enjoy. What is so great about it is that Allah has gifted us with an enthusiastic partner which is treading on this path.

Due to intellectual property rights, the existing ten countries may not be able to help Pakistan or Turkey. President Erdogan informed that out of one hundred top defence companies, there are already five Turkish companies. Defence imports have come down to only 30 percent and are to bring it to zero, by 2023. Since the Pakistan Navy is the user of this corvette, it must be very keen to operate these assets without facing the problem of spares. Therefore, by the time these platforms out of which two will be constructed at Karachi Shipyard would be commissioned, there will be self-sufficiency with Turkey for spares. There is probably some portion of spares that would be outsourced to Pakistan.

This is going to be self-sufficiency cum assurance of spares for Pakistan navy. The president highlighted that Turkey had already suffered due to sanctions in the past by the supplier countries. Pakistan has also faced the same problem through famous Pressler’s amendment and Kerry-Lugar bills etc.

His Excellency informed that his country after being able to construct Unmanned and manned aerial vehicles as well as satellites, would soon achieve self-sufficiency in designing and manufacturing fighter air crafts for turkey. Pakistan can also engage in its pursuit of designing and manufacturing its indigenous fighter programs. So our children will have more jobs, better standards of education and a greater understanding and control over technology.

Speaking at the steel cutting ceremony the president unveiled the future program to design and construct a conventional submarine for Turkey. Turkish navy ship, KINALIADA was also commissioned during the ceremony. Turks call it their National warship program. He appreciated the quality of equipment, high standard of discipline and well-qualified men who would make these platforms a highly competitive program in warship construction and operation. Pakistan would certainly benefit from this cooperation as it has its development plans to pursue. Availability of a trusted friend would be of great help.

This is going to be self-sufficiency cum assurance of spares for Pakistan navy. The president highlighted that Turkey had already suffered due to sanctions in the past by the supplier countries. Pakistan has also faced the same problem through famous Pressler’s amendment and Kerry-Lugar bills etc

Once again Turkish people have proven their unflinching support to Pakistan. This time it was on Kashmir issue as the most unambiguous stance forcefully supporting Pakistan came from Turkey. President Erdogan not only mentioned it in his address to UNGA, but he also highlighted during the ceremony that eight million Kashmiris were in an open prison and facing atrocities. He emphasized that he will continue to raise the issue at all forums and levels. This convergence of thought and alignment of National objectives must be utilized for future cooperation with Turkey in defence, diplomacy, science and technology by both the governments. Besides highlighting the sufferings, Pakistan Navy Chief thanked the Turkish leader for his unwavering support to Pakistan.

No doubt the Turkish nation has proven the adage that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

Besides turkey, Malaysia has supported the right of self-determination for Kashmiris, a principled stance that Pakistan has always supported. The Iranian parliament has sympathized with the Kashmiri Muslims besieged in the Indian occupied territory. The recent visit of the foreign ministers Saudi Arabia and UAE has been a great support to Kashmiri brothers in the Indian occupied territory. They are in a state of curfew since 5th August. The overwhelming support from China has convinced our leaders to plan a visit to China to thank its leadership for providing full support to Pakistan and the Muslims of Kashmir.

Indian move to attempt and announce illegal annexation of Kashmir was well thought out and planned in such a way that soon after the announcement, Modi would start official tour of Gulf states, known to have support for Pakistan. This trap created an embarrassment to these states as the state visits are planned well in advance. However, photo sessions of Modi with the leaders in the Gulf countries generated the false impression that they were supportive or ambivalent to Indian move. As the dust settles and the picture is getting clear, it is emerging that there is reasonable diplomatic support to Pakistan from the above-stated countries in particular and Muslim Ummah in general. However, within India, there are some diverging views and one such view is that has come from a retired judge of Indian supreme court who has predicted that Kashmir will be Vietnam for India. I believe that India is not the USA, and Pakistan is not Cambodia for taking the wrath of India as Cambodia had to take from USA before it pulled out of Vietnam.

It can be also visualized that since both USA and Russia have asked Pakistan and India to sort out the matter directly between themselves, they are not yet clear on the likely outcome of this conflict. Therefore, Pakistan stands at the high moral ground in front of the world community and likely to emerge as successful in this standoff, Insha-Allah. Pakistan should also support Turkey in its efforts to establish peace in Syria.

The author is a freelance writer and Retired commodore of Pakistan Navy, he can be reached at msohailyz@gmail.com

Source: https://dailytimes.com.pk/485014/pak-turkey-naval-diplomacy/

October 18, 2019
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