Turkish envoy meets Pakistan’s army chief

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Turkish ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul called on Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa at the army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Monday, an official statement said.

"During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, including regional security issues were discussed," said a statement by the Pakistani army.

Ankara and Islamabad have developed strong bilateral ties, especially in defense and security fields in recent years.

Pakistan is set to receive 30 T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopters (ATAK) helicopters from Turkey under a deal finalized in July this year.

The helicopters — a new generation, tandem, two-seat, twin-engine — specifically designed for attack and reconnaissance will be delivered gradually over five years.

Ankara is, meanwhile, buying MFI-17 Super Mushshak aircraft from Pakistan besides upgrading three Pakistani submarines and jointly building a fleet tanker, according to the local media.

In July this year, Ankara won a multibillion-dollar tender to supply four corvettes to the Pakistani Navy — a deal dubbed as the highest export for Turkey’s defense industry in the history by Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli.

In May 2017, Turkish and Pakistani defense companies had struck a deal for construction of four Turkish Ada class MILGEM (National Ship) corvettes.

According to the agreement, two ships will be built in Istanbul, while two others in Karachi.

The first pair of the corvettes will join the inventory of the Pakistan Naval Forces in 2023, while the remaining two will be handed over in 2024.

Turkey had also gifted 34 T-37 trainer aircraft and spares to Pakistan in 2015.

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