Speaker of Pakistan’s parliament, Serdar Ayaz Sadiq, told Anadolu Agency on Monday it was difficult for many countries to “digest” successful Muslim states.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in the Turkish capital during an official visit, Sadiq said that the “fault of Turkey” in its recent spats with several EU states was that it was a progressing country.
Turkey has good governance, a successful counterterrorism program and a growing economy, Sadiq said, adding that: “The ‘fault’ is that they (Turkey) are a Muslim country.”
“So the success of a Muslim country, economically strengthened, is difficult for many countries to digest but we are resilient people, whether it is Turkey or Pakistan.
“We are focused, we are resilient, we are going to be successful, we are successful and with God’s will we will be successful in the long run also,” he added.
Sadiq made the remarks during his visit to Turkey, where he met his Turkish counterpart Ismail Kahraman.
On the relationship between Turkey and Pakistan Sadiq said that it was one with “no agenda” and was based on two “loyal, good friends”.
Sadiq stated that the two countries have agreements covering the economy, education, health, transport and local government.
Pakistan had also benefited from the presence of Turkish companies, especially in the province of Punjab.
Sadiq said their focus was now on developing trade links:
“Basically now our focus is on trade, trade between the two countries which has dropped instead of increasing.”
“The two brotherly countries can do a lot of trade which we are now focusing on. Even the two parliaments signed an agreement of cooperation among ourselves which we are going to implement.”
“It is not a matter of signing agreements, it is a matter of now implementing these agreements — that is what is more important,” he added.
FETO in Pakistan
Sadiq went on to say the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) — the force behind the 15 July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey — was no longer a threat to Pakistan.
He said Pakistan’s leadership was “very much focused” on the case of teachers in FETO-led schools.
“The judiciary of Pakistan has given the … order, forcing them out of the country for the time being.
“The prime minister has tasked the attorney general of Pakistan to look into this matter and pursue the case until these people are gone and this organization is handed over to the government of Turkey,” he said.
He also added that out of 108 such teachers 45 had already left the country.
Sadiq said Pakistan’s military-run courts were a temporary measure to protect judges and witnesses from terrorist threats.
“Basically these military courts have been established only to target terrorists,” he said.
Sadiq said a new parliamentary mission would monitor the transfer of judicial control from the military to the civilian government.
He said he hoped a two-year process would see civilian administrations at the provincial and federal levels ready to “fulfill [their] responsibility so that the transition takes place”.
Speaking about the open border policy between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Sadiq said it was good for both countries but stated difficulties came from terrorists who targeted areas in Pakistan, something which could lead to further measures on the frontier.
“What those measures are — whether it is a wall, whether it is an electrified wire or whatever the case is — the best option is for them to be responsible on their side and for us to be responsible on our side,” he said.
Sadiq said instability in Afghanistan would also affect Iran, Turkey and neighboring countries. He said Pakistan offered Afghanistan support in providing stability in the country.
“We want an Afghan-led peace process to succeed and we will support them wherever we can,” he added.
On the latest situation in Kashmir, Sadiq spoke out against Indian forces’ of use pellet guns towards protesters, something which had blinded many people.
“It is a long outstanding issue and thousands, in fact more than 100,000 people have lost their lives also.
“Mass graves has also been discovered. We need a resolution on that issue,” Sadiq said and stated the United Nations was not fulfilling its responsibilities in Kashmir.
“When thousands of Muslims die in other countries like Kashmir … the international community forgets about human rights, and does not even want to speak on these issues,” he added.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.
Indus Waters Treaty
Regarding the opposed stand of India on further negotiations on the Indus Waters Treaty, Sadiq said India and Pakistan were two nuclear states and it would be a “disastrous outcome” if water would be stopped.
The 1960 treaty grants control of the eastern Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers to India while the western Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers fall under Pakistani control.
However, Pakistan has repeatedly accused India of violating the World Bank-brokered treaty by building dams on the western rivers, which all flow through Indian territory before reaching Pakistan.
India has complained that Pakistan benefits from a greater volume of water under the agreement.
“India has to be responsible; India has to fulfill its commitment to what was signed, agreements that were signed, treaties that were signed,” he added.