In an interview with defensehere.com, the Pakistani businessman and CEO of En-code Technologies, Tariq Aziz, talked about Pakistan-Turkey relations and cooperation in the field of defense industries.
Talking about the long history of Pakistan-Turkey relations and the strong strategic cooperation the two countries have maintained over the years, Mr. Aziz said the following:
"Pakistan and Turkey have together from the very beginning on political and various other regional issues. We share the common perception. So this has been the basis of our present deep strategic cooperation back in the defense field apart from the foreign affairs and political fields because both countries support each other in United Nations and internationally on whether it is the issue of Kashmir or Cyprus or any other issue.
If you look at the history, historically the area that is of interest to both Pakistan and Turkey stretches from the Aegean Sea right up to the South China Sea and in between you have the Central Asian Turkic countries and you have Iran, you have Afghanistan and China, Russia. This is the area which today is the focal point of international relations.
Now coming back to our defense relations at the time of independence, Pakistan had little or no industry. There was just one cotton ginning mill that is all we had. Basically, it was a completely agricultural agrarian economy.
At that time but we had a very very well-established Defense Forces and this is going back to the times when Pakistan was part of British India and the forces were trained by the British at that time. So there was a lot of interaction between Turkey and Pakistan Military Forces and the Ministry of Defence. Initially it was basically on training and concentrated on just understanding each other's requirements and so on.
Gradually in the 80s as Pakistan also developed on the fast track and Turkey of course had come a long way. So the defense cooperation between the two countries started in the beginning it was very mieger but gradually it increased specially in the 90s. And today if you look at the defense relation, Turkish-Pakistani defence relations, we you have achieved a lot. A lot of milestones have been achieved.
Recently as you know in 2018 Pakistan signed contracts worth over three billion dollars with the Turkish Defense Industries for the attack helicopter, for a land forces plus some Design Systems to be used by those attack helicopters from Roketsan. And our Navel Forces signed a contract for the Milgem class Corvettes, these are four corvettes and the contract was signed by Turkish with the Turkish company ASFAT which is part of the Turkish Ministry of Defence.
So the relations have come a long way and for these major contracts which are probably the biggest foreign contracts for the Turkish Defense industry, many smaller companies will also benefit because those smaller companies produce the subsystems for the main equipment.
At present the relations, the defense relations between our two countries have advanced to very close strategic relations. As a result, both our countries consult each other on regular basis on various areas of strategic requirements and importance and also there is a lot of interaction going on between the Pakistani local defense industries and the Turkish defense industries. The transfer of technology and other technical issues which are shared between the two."