Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that Islamabad is looking to forge partnerships for its geo-economics strategy, especially within the region, which apparently includes New Delhi. He was responding to a question about trade with India in an interview with Turkish media outlet Anadolu Agency ahead of his three-day visit to the country, Dawn reported. 

Sharif, who arrived in Turkey for the visit on Tuesday, said that as part of its shift from geo-strategy to geo-economics, Pakistan is looking to forge partnerships, especially within the region, based on connectivity. “Pakistan and India have a lot to gain from mutually beneficial trade,” he said as quoted by Dawn. 

The Prime Minister further said, “We are cognisant of the economic dividends that can be accrued from a healthy trade activity with India.” It is to be noted that after coming to power in Pakistan in early April, Shehbaz Sharif has written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing his desire for peaceful ties with India and the resolution of all the outstanding issues.

This comes in the wake of PM Modi`s congratulatory wishes to the then newly-elected Pakistani counterpart. 

Sharif, in his reply, thanked PM Modi for congratulating him and said that his country desires peaceful and cooperative ties with India, reported ARY News. In his first address to the National Assembly after being sworn in, Sharif had said, “We want good ties with India but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved.”

On Tuesday, India and Pakistan finalised and signed the annual report of the Permanent Indus Commission for the year which ended on March 31, 2022. The Indus Water Treaty has survived the wars between the two countries and the freeze in bilateral relations.

The relations between India and Pakistan have been strained due to Uri, Pathankot and Pulwama terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir with New Delhi making it clear that talks and terror cannot go together. 

Pakistan PM arrives in Turkey on 3-day visit

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in Turkey along with a high-level delegation on a three-day official visit. He was received by Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday and senior government and diplomatic personnel at Ankara Esenboga Airport, according to Dawn newspaper.

Pakistani delegation includes Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Investment Board Chaudhry Salik Hussain, and special assistants to the Prime Minister Tariq Fatemi and Fahd Husain.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, however, reached the Turkish capital on Monday and was received by Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin. He will later rejoin the prime minister`s delegation.

Besides discussing the Pakistan-Turkey bilateral relations, the two leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues. They will also address a Joint press conference after their meetings.

“These historical relations are grounded firmly in common religious, cultural, and linguistic links and transcend political changes on either side,” Shehbaz said on Pakistan Turkey relations.