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Gen Asim’s Visit to Turkey: A Diplomatic Mission of Utmost Significance By Kashif Mirza


Sep 19, 2023

The writer is an

economist, anchor,

analyst and the

President of All

 Pakistan Private

Schools’ Federation



Army Chief General Asim Munir called for enhancing defense collaboration and training cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the chief of army staff (COAS) laid emphasis on the enhancement of defense ties during his meetings with the top Turkish leadership on an official trip to Turkey. The visit was a part of the high-level mutual visits by both brotherly countries to enhance the historic diplomatic and military ties. During the visit, Gen Munir called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, foreign and defense ministers, the commander of Turkish general staff, and commanders of Turkish land and air forces. Gen Munir appreciated the Turkish military’s efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region and also praised the standards of operational readiness of Turkish armed forces. Later he visited the Turkish land forces headquarters, where on his arrival Gen Munir was presented with a guard of honour. The army chief was conferred with the Legion of Merit by the Turkish Defence Minister and Commander Turkish Land Forces in recognition of his services towards promoting defense relations between the two countries. This high-profile visit has sparked significant interest, both nationally and internationally, as it carries implications for security and cooperation. This move reflects Pakistan’s commitment to fostering stronger relationships with key allies in the global arena. Both nations share a common interest in strengthening their military capabilities and enhancing their defense preparedness. This visit aimed to explore opportunities for joint training exercises and the exchange of military expertise. Gen Asim’s visit to Turkey is very important due to the recent developments happened in G20, when Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at G20 said that Turkey would be “proud” if a country like India becomes a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). But, Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey, said after the G20 that “there can be no corridor without Turkey”, adding “the most appropriate route for trade from east to west must pass through Turkey”. Turkey is in intensive negotiations with regional partners over its alternative to the India-Middle East trade corridor plan that was agreed at this month’s G20 summit, as the country seeks to bolster its historic role as a transport route for goods moving from Asia to Europe. Ankara has pushed back against the proposed India-Middle East route that would transport goods from the subcontinent through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel to European markets. The mooted corridor, backed by the US and EU as they attempt to repel China’s growing influence, would completely bypass Turkey. A trade route does not only mean meeting trade alone. It’s also a reflection of geo-strategic competition. On the other side, Armenia-Azerbaijan Crisis and tensions between these two neighboring nations have escalated significantly in recent months, threatening to destabilise the South Caucasus region. Pakistan, with its historical ties to Azerbaijan, and Turkey, which has a strong partnership with Azerbaijan, find themselves in a unique position to play a constructive role in defusing the crisis.

General Munir’s visit also offers an opportunity to strengthen Pakistan-Turkey bilateral relations. The two countries have historically shared strong military, economic, and cultural ties. This visit serves as a platform to further enhance these ties and explore avenues for future collaboration. Gen Munir’s visit received widespread support from political circles within Pakistan. Moreover, General Asim Munir believed in building strong ties with the international community to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and boost trade opportunities. He worked towards creating a conducive business environment, simplifying regulations, and offering competitive incentives to attract multinational companies and foreign investors. Through increased global engagement, Pakistan gained access to new markets and technologies, fostering economic growth and job creation. To stimulate economic growth, General Munir sought to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and strengthen trade ties with international partners. He encouraged investor-friendly policies, making it easier for foreign companies to set up businesses in Pakistan. By establishing a transparent and business-friendly regulatory environment, General Munir aimed to boost investor confidence and increase FDI inflows. Under his leadership, Pakistan negotiated free trade agreements with various countries and regional blocs to enhance market access for Pakistani products and services. These agreements not only opened up the way for new export opportunities but also encouraged foreign investment in export-oriented industries. General Asim Munir, has also announced his plans to attract massive foreign investment and has secured promises from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait to invest a total of $75-100 billion in Pakistan, mainly in the farming industry. He also said he had asked the Saudi and UAE rulers to lend $10 billion each to Pakistan to improve its foreign exchange reserves, which would be repaid in rupees. The military leadership presented an Economic Revival Plan, stated to be bigger than the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to address the nation’s continued struggles with growth. The plan is focused on harnessing the country’s untapped potential in key sectors through local development and foreign investments mainly from Gulf countries and expediting project implementation. There is an urgent need for export-oriented foreign direct investments (FDIs) so the army chief pledged the full support of the military, recognizing the plan’s importance for the national prosperity. The plan envisages capitalizing Pakistan’s untapped potential in key sectors of defense production, agriculture, livestock, minerals and mining, information technology, and energy, through indigenous development as well as investments from friendly countries. The investment will come from the Gulf countries and the army will play a key role in the coordination of the projects. If this project is completed, by 2035, Pakistan could become a trillion-dollar economy, a game-changer project. Under the SIFC, direct job opportunities would be provided to 15 to 20 million people and indirect job opportunities to another 75 to 100 million people in the next four to five years. Along with this, the SIFC project will generate exports of $70 billion and import substitution of equal amounts in the next four to five years. The security and economy were closely related to each other which is why the Pakistan Army will spend all its energy on the management, coordination, and success of the project. It was aimed at creating horizontal-vertical synergy between the federation and the provinces; facilitating timely decision-making; avoiding duplication of efforts; and ensuring swift project implementation. General Asim Munir recognized the fundamental importance of well-developed infrastructure for the nation’s growth and connectivity. Removing the hurdles in the progress of work of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was one of General Munir’s landmark achievements. This game-changing initiative brought significant foreign investment, improving Pakistan’s connectivity with China and Central Asia. The Gwadar Port, a vital component of the CPEC, has also emerged again as a strategic hub for international trade, opening up new avenues for economic growth and regional integration. Through incentives and policy reforms, Pakistan will witness a considerable increase in private sector participation in the energy sector, enhancing energy security and reducing dependency on costly fossil fuels. Through the ‘Green Pakistan Initiative’ and bringing about Agriculture reforms, his initiatives focused on modernizing the agriculture sector by introducing advanced farming techniques, promoting research and development, and ensuring the efficient utilization of water resources through better irrigation practices. 

General Munir aimed to drive economic growth and create a competitive advantage in the global market. Pakistan and Turkey have strong brotherly relations which have always stood the test of time. Pakistan Army takes pride in serving its nation, with dedication to the welfare of the people and the country. The army belonged to the people, and the people belonged to the army, emphasizing the strong bond between the armed forces and the civilians. The Pakistan Army is always willing to extend full support to the Turkish Land Forces in multiple domains. Through strategic planning, innovative thinking, and a focus on inclusivity, Gen. Asim laid the foundation for a strong and resilient economy. The initiatives he championed in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, education, and technology have positively impacted various sectors, leading to increased investment, job creation, and improved living standards. COAS Munir hailed the government’s plans for uplift, expressing his confidence in the transformation of the different sectors in the landscape of Pakistan. Under his leadership, Pakistan will witness a development and economic revolution. General Asim Munir called on all the stakeholders to develop a national consensus to confront challenges posed by the economy and terrorism. General Asim Munir’s initiatives for the development and economic prosperity of Pakistan have been instrumental in shaping the nation’s path towards progress.  As Pakistan continues to build upon the legacy of General Munir’s vision, it moves towards a more prosperous and promising future. Pakistan has always stood with its Turkish brothers in times of calamity and moments of triumph and shall continue to strengthen the fraternal ties between the two nations. Pakistan Army is always willing to extend full support to the Turkish Land Forces in multiple domains. Pakistan and Turkey have fostered strong military and trade relations over the years. When a devastating earthquake struck Turkey in February this year, killing thousands, Pakistan sent planeloads of relief items to help the victims of the natural disaster. Turkish leaders acknowledged the efforts extended by Pakistan Army Engineers who worked along the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) teams during the unfortunate earthquake that hit Turkey in February this year.  In times of calamity and success, Pakistan has always stood with its Turkish brothers, and it will continue to deepen the bonds of brotherhood between the two countries. In a significant development, General Asim Munir has embarked on a crucial diplomatic mission to Turkey. General Munir’s visit holds paramount importance and leaders from various political parties acknowledged the importance of such diplomatic endeavors in strengthening the nation’s position on the global stage. Both Pakistan and Turkey are committed to regional stability. Their involvement in resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Crisis reflects their dedication to maintaining peace and security in the South Caucasus region. A peaceful resolution to the conflict would not only benefit Armenia and Azerbaijan but also the broader international community. General Munir’s visit provides an opportunity to discuss other pressing regional and global issues. Pakistan and Turkey are both members of various international organizations, and their cooperation on the diplomatic front can have far-reaching implications. This unified stance reflects the nation’s commitment to its foreign policy objectives. General Asim Munir’s Vision for Development and Economic Prosperity of Pakistan is based on our social responsibility to play our collective role in the country’s economy. General Asim Munir’s visit to Turkey underscores the deep-rooted and longstanding diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Turkey. This strategic alliance has been characterized by mutual support in various international forums and a shared commitment to regional stability and security. General Munir’s visit exemplifies the importance of diplomatic engagement and cooperation in addressing complex regional challenges and underscores the enduring bond between Pakistan and Turkey in their quest for peace and stability.

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