ISLAMABAD – A high-level Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Islamabad today on its first official tour since the failed coup attempt in Turkey two weeks ago. The delegation will hold talks with the Pakistani government to discuss the presence of Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges, whose future still remains uncertain, in the country.
As many as 28 Pak-Turk educational institutions are currently running in Pakistan, with 1,500 staffers and 10,000 students.
Ankara has asked Islamabad to shut down these schools for their affiliation with the Gulen Movement – the organisation led by self-exiled Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who has been accused of planning the failed military coup by the Erdogan regime.
Talking to newsmen immediately after his arrival in Islamabad, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that bilateral relations and regional developments between Pakistan and Turkey would be on the agenda during his visit to the federal capital.
Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey and Pakistan enjoyed deep-rooted and time-tested relations of brotherhood. He said the potential for economic cooperation and integration between Turkey and Pakistan had not yet been fully tapped.
The Turkish Foreign Minister said that strengthening logistics connectivity between the two countries and further to Eurasia would encourage economic integration between the two countries.
He said the two countries were working on increasing their transport connectivity, adding that a container train service on the Istanbul-Islamabad corridor would provide “a fast and low-cost logistics to boost trade relations,” in this regard.
Earlier, on July 24, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin had told journalists of Ankara’s request to “all friendly nations to prevent activities of this (Gulen’s) group,” adding that the government had solid proof of Gulen’s affiliates’ involvement in the failed coup.