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“Your security is equivalent to ours”: Turkey pledges support to strengthen Pakistan’s military infrastructure

Even as Pakistan is on the verge of an imminent financial collapse, its ally, Turkey, under the authoritarian leadership of Recep Erdogan, has pledged support to help strengthen its military infrastructure.

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday 20th May 2022, that Turkey will provide all support needed to strengthen Pakistan’s military infrastructure. He said this in a video message sent to the launching ceremony of the third vessel of the MILGEM Ada class corvette – a joint venture of Turkey and Pakistan. He also said that he considers Pakistan’s security, stability, and prosperity equal to that of Turkey.

According to a report by The Express Tribune, Erdogan said, “The production process of all these ships, which are equipped with the most modern weapons and sensor systems developed by our country, continues as planned.” MILGEM vessels are 99 meters (325 feet) long with a displacement capacity of 24,00 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles. The anti-submarine combat frigates can be hidden from the radar. It is notable that Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships.

In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with Türkiye’s state-run defense firm ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes are to be built in Turkey and the next two are to be built in Pakistan, which also involves technology transfer.

The third vessel was named Badr and it was launched at Karachi Dockyard in Karachi city of Pakistan. Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistani Defense Minister Muhammad Israr Tareen, and other officials attended the launch ceremony. Erdogan said that the deliveries of the ships, which will be able to perform all kinds of military duties from air defense to submarine defense, will be made at six-month intervals starting from August 2023. “The other vessel of the project, named Kaibar, is to be launched in September in Istanbul”, he said

Erdogan said that the project is one of the most concrete and recent examples of the deep-rooted historical ties between Turkey and Pakistan, voicing hope for the project to be a harbinger of greater cooperation. Extending a helping hand to Pakistan, Erdogan also tried to underline the bond Turkey shares with Pakistan. He said, “Throughout history, this region has been the apple of the world s eye with its ancient culture and wealth. Pakistan and its people have a special place for us.” It is quite obvious that this special place is on account of the Islamic religion.

In October 2019, Erdogan, along with then-Chief of Pakistan Navy Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, had cut the metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul. Erdogan has shown his pro-Pakistan attitude from time to time. In February 2020, Erdogan dragged up the Kashmir issue, asserting that Ankara will back Pakistan as the matter is of paramount importance to both countries. Turkey had also set up a propaganda team, in collaboration with Pakistani ISI, to further their anti-India propaganda

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OpIndia Staff
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