Islamabad: Chairman, Senate Defence Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has said that the historic Freedom Flotilla in 2010 was a bold attempt by the Turkish humanitarian organization (IHH) not only to provide relief items to the long-suffering people of Gaza but to highlight the Palestinian cause at international level.
He was making the Keynote Speech at a seminar on “Middle East Today with special perspective of Turkey and Pakistan”. Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, Sadik Babur Girgin was Chief Guest on the occasion.
Senator Mushahid Hussain said Pakistan has a proven track record of supporting freedom movements in the Middle East unconditionally as the people of Pakistan had a pan-Islamic ethos, evident in the foreign policies of Quaid-e-Azam as well as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
He stated Pakistan provided diplomatic passports to Tunisian and Algerian freedom fighters in the 1950s. “Pakistan was the only non-Arab country which participated in the October 1973 Arab-Israel War and our PAF pilots flying from Syrian airbases shot down Israeli warplanes”, he said, adding Mr Bhutto even offered to provide Pakistan Army troops to Syrian President Hafez al Assad if Damascus came under threat from Israel.
Senator Mushahid further told the audience that Pakistan had the honour of being the first country where the PLO under Yasser Arafat achieved recognition at the Lahore Islamic Summit in April 1974 as the ‘sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people’.
Talking on Pakistan-Turkey relations, he said that both countries enjoy warm people to people friendship as Pakistani and Turkish people have maintained very close long-standing bilateral ties.
“To pay tribute to the great contribution of Turkey’s founding leader Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, whom he greatly admired, the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, announced Day of National Mourning, on behalf of All India Muslim League, on the sad demise of Ataturk in 1938″, he informed.
Senator Mushahid said Turkey is a success story and role model for today’s Muslim world because Prime Minister Erdogan has provided good governance, economic development, political stability and independent foreign policy, turning Turkey around in the last 12 years.
He was of the view that due to Turkish government’s firm stand on the Freedom Flotilla, Israel was forced to apologize on the insane attack which resulted in death and injury of innocent humanitarian workers, following huge condemnation by the international community.