Turkish president addresses joint session of Pakistan parliament

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while addressing the joint session of Pakistan's parliament on February 14, 2020. (Photo by Radio Pakistan)
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Updated 14 February 2020

Turkish president addresses joint session of Pakistan parliament

  • Erdogan offers Friday prayers at King Faisal Mosque Islamabad
  • He will co-chair the 6th Session of the Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council along with PM Khan

ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to address the joint session of parliament in Pakistan today. He will also attend the Friday prayer congregation at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad.
The Turkish president arrived in Pakistan on a two-day official visit on Thursday.
He was received by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi, said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.
The visiting president is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising cabinet members and senior government functionaries.
He is also accompanied by heads and CEOs of leading corporations in his country.
“During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Erdogan will have tête-à-tête, after which they will co-chair the 6th Session of the Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in the joint cabinet format,” Pakistan foreign office earlier said in statement on Wednesday, adding that “a number of important agreements/MoUs are expected to be concluded. The two leaders will have a joint press stakeout.”




Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Pakistan on a two-day official visit on Feb 13th, 2020. (AN Photo)

The Turkish president will separately meet with President Arif Alvi and address a joint session of parliament on Friday. He will also address the Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum jointly with PM Khan, which will bring together leading investors and businessmen from both sides.
“Pakistan and Turkey have a unique and abiding relationship characterized by mutual support and exceptional mutual trust and understanding,” the foreign office statement said. “The two brotherly countries have always been each other’s steadfast partners. Turkey supports the cause of self-determination for the people of Indian-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Pakistan stands by Turkey on the question of Cyprus.”
The foreign office noted that “both sides place a strong emphasis on forging a robust economic relationship.”
“There is also a joint resolve to translate historic amity into vibrant cooperation in diverse fields, including in the context of combating Islamophobia, promoting Islamic solidarity, and advancing shared goals of regional peace, security, and stability,” the foreign office said.
“The visit of President Erdogan will serve to underscore the traditional solidarity and affinity between the two countries, and prove to be another significant milestone in the further deepening and broadening of the flourishing Pakistan-Turkey strategic partnership,” the statement read.


Beat stress with self-discipline, meditation during lockdown — Experts

Updated 03 April 2020

Beat stress with self-discipline, meditation during lockdown — Experts

  • Self-isolation and social distancing may lead to tremendous mental pressure among many
  • Experts say building physical and mental immunity can relieve anxiety and stress

RAWALPINDI: While experts warn that self-isolation and social distancing during long virus lockdowns could trigger symptoms of anxiety and depression among people, they list a number of practices to beat stress out of life. 
Building “mental immunity,” at a time when physical immunity has taken center stage is critical to one’s well-being, said Islamabad-based psychotherapist, Nida Maqbool.
“What most people do not realize is that our mental immunity and physical immunity are interlinked,” Maqbool told Arab News over the phone. “If we are not mentally fit, we also feel physical repercussions.”
Another Islamabad-based counselor, Farah Rehman, who operates out of Therapy Works in the nation’s capital said, “Building physical and mental immunity can give quite a relief to anxiety whether it’s working on your fitness or writing down what you are grateful for. Another great tool is meditation.”
A few weeks ago, Pakistanis began following the World Health Organization’s guidelines of social distancing and self-isolation in order to help combat the spread of coronavirus, a hard adjustment to normal practice.
Provinces in Pakistan announced lockdowns, shops other than pharmacies and grocery stores were shuttered and, while all of this was done to keep Pakistanis safe, the situation triggered anxiety, stress and depression among many in the absence of usual social interactions.
“Humans are not meant to be completely isolated,” Omar Bazza, a clinical therapist practicing in Toronto, told Arab News over the phone. “Distancing and social isolation can indeed trigger a lot of anxiety and depression symptoms.”
In addition to forgoing social interactions, even those as simple as bumping into friends somewhere, there is the added stress of lost jobs, bills piling up, uncertainty of the future and the desire to keep the family safe.
“These concerns can easily trigger or even create anxiety. We are starting to see depression and anxiety in people who previously never experienced issues with their mental health,” said Bazza to Arab News.
“I have seen some of my depression make a comeback,” said Roshaan Amber, an Islamabad-based telecom worker, about being stuck at home. “Previously, I went for therapy to deal with anxiety and my depression was under control. But being at home all the time has once again stimulated it.”
Anousheh Azra works with the banking sector, one of the few areas of economy that have been deemed essential and therefore keeping people like her out of home. Yet, she is required to practice social distancing which, she believes, is making her life immensely difficult.
“I feel constantly exhausted, no matter how well rested I am,” she told Arab News. “I feel anxious.”
Maqbool suggests that “We all need to realize that we are going through trauma at a global level.” “We need to give ourselves the space to feel this.”
She recommends setting strict boundaries to exercise self-discipline like the one she has for herself where only a small portion of the day is dedicated to reading the news and where friends and family have been told that if they want to have a chat they need to discuss something other than the coronavirus. “If I am not in a good mental space myself, I cannot help my clients who are looking to me as a source of peace and safety.”
Maqbool has joined many people across the globe by using the Internet and digital platforms to reach her clients. She brings 80 percent of her clients to work with her online and sees 20 percent of them in person at her home, though “we keep a distance of five feet and meet in my lawn.”
Rehman said that “helping the underprivileged while staying within one’s capacity” can also tend to ease anxiety and depression. Another healthy indulgence is helping family members or friends passing through a tough time in isolation by “staying in touch virtually whether it’s a phone call or video chat and of course through social media,” said added.
Online resources for stress inoculation are available as well, though one should be cautioned to make sure the source of the website is legitimate and attached to medical or mental health professionals.