Pakistani Prime Minster Imran Khan, who is on his first official visit to Turkey since taking office, payed respects to Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk by laying a wreath on his mausoleum.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as part of an official state visit in Ankara on January 4, 2019.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) visits Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the Turkish Republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as part of an official state visit in Ankara on January 4, 2019. (AA)

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday paid his respects to modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the capital Ankara.

Khan laid a wreath at Ataturk's Mausoleum or Anitkabir, and he also signed a formal guest book.

"It is a matter of great honour for me to be present here to pay homage to one of the greatest statesmen and visionary leaders of the 20th century – Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk," he wrote in the guest book.

"Leading the Turkish nation at one of the most challenging times, he changed the course of Turkish and indeed the world history, becoming an inspiration for all those resisting the tide of colonialism across the world. He was an epitome of courage, strength, resilience, forbearance, and wisdom."

Khan wrote Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had described Ataturk as "one of the greatest men who has ever lived."

"On behalf of the Government and people of Pakistan, I would like to convey my deepest admiration and respect for Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk."

"His glorious struggle and leadership for the independence and unity of the Turkish nation will forever remain a golden chapter in the annals of history."

Visit to museum dedicated to Mevlana

Starting a landmark two-day visit to Turkey, Khan on Thursday visited a museum in central Anatolia dedicated to Mevlana Rumi, the famed 13th-century Muslim poet.

Khan later attended a working dinner co-organised by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and Pakistan’s Embassy in Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Khan on Friday at the presidential palace.

Erdogan and Khan have discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as possible steps for further strengthening cooperation.

They have exchanged views on current regional and international developments.

Turkish, Pakistani FMs meet in Ankara

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hosted his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who accompanied the Pakistani prime minister on his two-day visit.

“Expressed our thanks to Pakistan for declaring FETO as a terrorist organisation, a right decision that confirms our brotherly ties,” Cavusoglu said. 

Last month, Pakistan’s top court ordered the government to outlaw FETO and associated groups and banned its affiliated schools in the country.

The court also ordered the government to hand over all these schools to the Turkish government.

After the top court decision, Pakistan’s Interior Ministry declared the Pak-Turk Cag Education Foundation a terrorist organisation and banned its activities in the country.

On the meeting of the top two diplomats, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that Qureshi briefed Cavusoglu about “the recent developments concerning peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.”

“He also informed his Turkish counterpart, in detail, about Pakistan's outreach efforts to most important neighbours and regional countries, in the recent weeks, including Afghanistan, Iran, China, Russia and Qatar,” the statement read.

The foreign minister added that desire to support and facilitate an inclusive, Afghan owned, Afghan-led process had emerged as a notable convergence and shared desire among all, particularly Afghanistan’s neighbours, who had serious stakes in an amicable resolution of the four decades old conflict.

“The Foreign Minister appreciated Turkey's key role in strengthening the regional cooperation on Afghanistan through the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process,” it added.

Premier Khan's first official visit to Turkey since taking office in August comes at the invitation of Erdogan.

Source: AA