GEO TV (Pakistan)

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GEO TV: His Excellency Mr. President, what is your view regarding these extensive negotiations between Pakistan and Turkey?

ABDULLAH GÜL: When we are to define the relations between Turkey and Pakistan, we will see that it is beyond normal relations, but it can better defined in terms of brotherhood and very close friendship that they spent on history, and the relations between two countries are from people to people very close and very sincere, and there are strong relations. But now I do believe that it is time for us to start picking the fruits of those very good relations, of deep rooted relations which necessitates us to talk more with each other.

GEO TV: For the promotion of economic ties between Turkey and Pakistan, what specific steps should be taken by either side?

ABDULLAH GÜL: Turkey and Pakistan are two countries that are very close to each other that have very close ties that are built on friendship and bilateral and mutual understanding and love among their people. But, I do believe that all of those positive aspects have not been reflected in our economies, and in our economic relations and for that reason, I believe, we have to be working harder in order to make best use of the existing potential and this means that we will need to be working even to create new potential in various areas, and for that we have to investing in our efforts. I am attaching great importance to improve our relations in areas of trade and investment, and for that reason, I will be having a large group of businessmen accompanying me while I will be paying my business trip to Pakistan.

GEO TV: What do you think about the promotion of trade between Pakistan and Turkey?

ABDULLAH GÜL: Yes of course when we talk about trade and of course trade necessitates a significant infrastructure and we have to establish this infrastructure within which transportation has to be the most important component. Right at the moment maritime transportation has been revised through vessels but it takes time. And for that reason my dear brother Zardari, President Zardari, pointed out the importance he is attaching for constructing and improving the railway systems and the railroads. For that reason, a route that will start from Karachi, go through Tehran, and as a final destination, reaching Istanbul, has been attached great importance to by the President and by myself as well. A first dry run has been realized from Karachi to Istanbul and now the same train will go back from Istanbul to Karachi through the same route. And we will be working on this route in order to further improve the system.

GEO TV: His Excellency, Pakistan is facing the worst kind of electric load-shedding and you have just mentioned there, Turkey will also invest in the energy field. How many companies will invest there and when will the people of Pakistan get energy from your companies? It is a hypothetical question…

ABDULLAH GÜL: These investments are to be made through the private sector because the private sector had been the leading force in our economy, the Turkish economy. The Turkish state gradually pulled back from the economy and its place was replaced by the private sector and as a result of this during the last six to seven years we have had a very fast economic growth in our country. When we look at the areas of experience in our private sector, in the delegation, the business delegation who accompanying me, there will be companies who are experienced in the areas of energy and hydro energy as well, through which they are generating electricity. Of course I believe that during their contacts and the talks, they will be able to yield positive results out of those contacts based on the fact that the Pakistani government had a very strong call to the Turkish Private sector, to invest in the energy sector in Pakistan.

GEO TV: Last question, that is about Pakistan and the other nations, the Indian government has not solved the Kashmir issue despite new resolutions. Now India has started stopping water in the three rivers of Pakistan, which are the share of Pakistan government. They're doing this at Jhelum and Chenab by building dams on those. Pakistan is facing a problem of scarcity of water for agriculture and for drinking. Maybe Turkey as a friend of Pakistan can get some initiative to persuade India and Pakistan to sit at the negotiation table and be able to solve this water issue just as you have done in you negotiations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

ABDULLAH GÜL: This issue is a old matter between the two countries and is a deep rooted problem and of course the normalization of the relations between the two countries is very important and for that, finding a solution to the Kashmir problem is of great importance, and Turkey had always been with Pakistan throughout İSEDAK meetings whenever those matters had been raised. I'm very much pleased to see that the composite dialogue that had been interrupted after the Mumbai events has started to be initiated back again through the contacts that started to take place again between the deputy undersecretaries level of the two countries. And during the visit that I have realized in India, I had the opportunity to discuss with the Indian authorities, and expressed my views and how much importance we attach for the solution of those problems and if in this process, Turkey will have any role to play, if we believe that we'll be able to play a role in this regard we're very much prepared to take our part to assist the process.
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