Turkey wants peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute

Caption : Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi greets his counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Islamabad, Friday 14 September. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs photo)
Updated 15 September 2018

Turkey wants peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is on a two-day official visit to Islamabad
  • The Turkish news agency said the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan stood at $650 million by the end of 2017 and Ankara intended to increase this to $1 billion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday that Turkey was willing to support Islamabad’s quest for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
He added that the latest United Nations report had endorsed Pakistan’s perspective on the protracted problem that had driven the two South Asian nuclear nations apart, noting that the UN had meticulously documented Indian brutalities in the occupied region.
Addressing a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, Qureshi said that Turkey had also agreed to attend a conference on Kashmir on the sides of the UN session and shared Pakistan’s vision for a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
Bearing a message from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish foreign minister had arrived in Pakistan on Thursday for a two-day official visit. At the top of his agenda were discussions on the bilateral ties of the two countries, enhanced cooperation and views on regional and international developments.
The Turkish News Agency Anadolu said the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan stood at $650 million by the end of 2017 and Ankara intended to increase this to $1 billion.
On August 10, US President Donald Trump had slapped steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey in an attempt to force it to release US pastor Andrew Brunson.
Pakistan has expressed solidarity with Turkey and its government over the economic crisis and the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US government.
“The solution to any and all issues should lie in dialogue, mutual understanding and goodwill. Any steps or actions to the contrary only undermine peace and stability and make the solution to a problem more difficult and intractable,” said a statement issued by Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Aug. 13.
On Friday, the foreign ministers of the two countries recognized each other’s support and noted that the relations between Turkey and Pakistan were between not only the two governments but also their people.

Pakistan to link Middle East with Karachi, Gwadar soon through ferry service

Updated 26 min 27 sec ago

Pakistan to link Middle East with Karachi, Gwadar soon through ferry service

  • Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Malaysia are interested in shipping lines with Pakistani carriers, Maritime Ministry official says
  • A $1.8 billion bridge would link Karachi Port with Port Bin Qasim under CPEC

KARACHI: Pakistan is in the final stages of starting ferry service linking Middle Eastern ports with Karachi and Gwadar deep-water port as the go-ahead is expected next week, says Mahmood Moulvi, Adviser to Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

“Ferry service will be launched from Karachi port to Dubai, Oman and Bandar Abbas (Iran). We want to facilitate pilgrims by providing them alternate routes,” Moulvi said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

He added that “the service will be completely in the private sector and the role of government would be of facilitator.”

Pakistan is currently in the process of amending its shipping policy of 2002 to accommodate more players with the aim to make it business friendly. “The amendment process is in final stages and will be approved, hopefully, in a month as the progress is at the advance stage,” Moulvi informed.

The confidence of foreign investors is being restored with growing interest of Saudis, Singaporean and Malaysian investors in shipping lines, he said. 

“Singaporean investors are coming in April to finalize the details for starting vessels. We are asking them to come up with Pakistani flag carriers,”, he added.

“Roughly, we estimate that around $8-10 million per ship investment would be made. We initially expect two ships to come up to test the waters,” Moulvi said adding that “Pakistan will be in position to minimize around $4.5 billion freight cost that is being paid to foreign shipping companies.”

Recently Khalid A. Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources for Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, during his visit to Gwadar, expressed kingdom’s interest in investing in logistics. 

“It was our proposal to have joint venture in the oil transportation. We asked them to transport oil in their own tankers because after the completion of oil refinery they would need it on permanent basis,” Moulvi, who was accompanied by the Saudi delegation, said.

Apart from crude oil, Pakistan is one of the major importers of palm oil mainly from Malaysia. During the 8 months of current fiscal year Pakistan has imported 2,052,681 metric tons of palm oil worth $1.24 billion. “We are also proposing Malaysians to come up with palm oil carriers with Pakistani flags. We would pay them in Pak Rupee instead of paying in US Dollar which would reduce the burden on foreign exchange,” Moulvi said.

Pakistan government is also planning to link its two major ports with the help of China under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “The exact cost of the bridge would be $1.8 billion with $30 million per mile. China wants to bring the project under CPEC otherwise it would be on Built Operate Transfer (BOT) basis. The bridge would consist of a railway track and oil pipeline,” the official said.

China is also interested in building a shipyard in Gwadar while another one is proposed in Karachi, apart from the one already operating. The completion of these shipyards would multiply the shipbuilding activities in the county.