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Turkey insults Pakistan, refuses to host PM Shehbaz Sharif


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 Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif has been slapped with an international-level insult by earthquake hit Turkey.

There has been devastation due to the earthquake in Turkey. Countries around the world are sending relief materials and rescue teams to Turkey.

But, Pakistan tried to capitalize on this disaster as an opportunity, which backfired. In fact, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif announced his visit to Ankara to show solidarity with Turkey. He did not think that the country which is currently facing a natural disaster, resources should not be spent on VIP visits. In such a situation, Turkey itself refused to host Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will leave for Ankara tomorrow morning, he will express his condolences and condolences to President Erdoğan for the destruction of the earthquake, the loss of life, and the people of Turkey. Due to Prime Minister’s visit to Turkey, the APC convened on Thursday February 9 is being postponed, a new date will be announced in consultation with the allies,” Pakistan’s Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said in a statement on Twitter.

However, hours after her tweet, Azam Jamil, former special assistant to the prime minister of Turkey, took to social media to announce his country’s reluctance to host Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

“The last thing Turkey wants at a time like this is to look after state guests. Please send relief staff only,” he tweeted.

What was Pakistan’s excuse for canceling Shehbaz Sharif’s Turkey trip?

Pakistan’s Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey has been postponed. She said that Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz’s visit has been postponed in view of the ongoing relief work after the massive earthquake in Turkey and Syria on Monday morning.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to establish the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to support the earthquake victims of our brother country Turkey in their difficult times. The cabinet has announced to donate 1 month salary to the relief fund. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appealed for the generous help of our brother country Turkey,” Maryam Aurangzeb tweeted.

Shehbaz Sharif was scheduled to leave for Turkey today. He sent a 51-member rescue team and also set up a relief fund. But, Pakistan itself is poor, in such a situation how much financial help it will be able to provide to Turkey is under question.

More than 8000 killed in Turkey and Syria

The earthquake in Turkey and Syria has killed more than 8300 people so far, while millions of people have been injured and were trapped in the debris.

The epicenter of this devastating earthquake was in Kahramanmaras, central Turkey. The tremors were felt as far away as Greenland. Aftershocks and extremely cold weather of this earthquake have further worsened the situation. It is also raining in many areas, which has made relief and rescue operations more difficult.

Pakistan also sent relief material to Turkey

Pakistan has sent over 21 tonnes of relief material to earthquake-hit Turkey and Syria. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson said two PIA flights on behalf of NDMA left Islamabad for Istanbul and Damascus on Wednesday morning.

He said PIA flights PK-705 and PK-9135 carrying 7.4 tonnes and 14 tonnes of cargo (earthquake-relief aid) left Islamabad for Istanbul and Damascus at 8:45 am and 10:30 am respectively. The spokesman elaborated that the 14 tonnes of aid, which was sent to Damascus, also included winter tents and blankets

Close relations between Pakistan and Turkey

The relations between Pakistan and Turkey are very strong. The two countries are also working closely in the defence and trade sectors.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blindly supports Pakistan in the name of Islam. This is the reason why Turkey has supported Pakistan on the Kashmir issue at the United Nations (UN).

Erdogan himself and the foreign minister there have raised the Kashmir issue several times in the United Nations. This is the same Turkey, which has excellent relations with Israel, while having an old enmity with Palestine.

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