By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday telephoned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express solidarity and support for Ankara for its ongoing operation against Kurdish forces in Syria.
The premier during the conversation told the Turkish president that “Pakistan fully understands Turkey’s concerns relating to terrorism”, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
“As a country which has lost more than 70,000 lives due to terrorism and borne the burden of more than 3 million refugees for decades, Pakistan is fully cognisant of the threats and challenges being faced by Turkey having lost 40,000 of its people to terrorism,” the prime minister said.
“We pray that Turkey’s efforts for enhanced security, regional stability and peaceful resolution of the Syrian situation are fully successful,” he added.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
During the phone call, Prime Minister Imran said that the government and people of Pakistan are looking forward to accord a warm welcome to President Erdogan on his forthcoming visit to Pakistan later this month.