Erdogan in Pakistan: Of speeches and bloopers

Published: May 24, 2012

Recently, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan addressed a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament for the second time in four years. In his speech, he took the opportunity to offer his condolences for the Siachen tragedy, discuss bilateral trade, economic cooperation and generally about the strong bond of friendship between Pakistan and Turkey.

The premier also had something to say about the role of opposition parties, commenting that opposition parties exist to reform the government, not to kick it out. Mr Erdogan also talked about the very important role of the Parliament and finally, lauded Pakistan for upholding democracy.

In short, a well worded speech covering a wide range of topics.

Fortunately, our own politicians never fail to disappoint; Gilani’s started out good enough; he called Mr Erdogan’s address a milestone in the Pak-Turk relationship and about how the friendship between the two countries was very old. And then, in true Pakistani prime minister spirit, he started talking about the Khilafat Movement!

Yes, about the Khilafat Movement, whose sole purpose was to keep a man whom the Turks did not like, in power. The abolition of the Caliphate was an extremely important event in the formation of a modern Turkish nation from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. You would think that the Pakistani prime minister would have the good sense not to use the Khilafat Movement as an example of how old the Pak-Turk relationship is, especially considering that Pakistan did not even exist at that time and our founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah was hardly happy about the Khilafat Movement.

But then again, what else can the nation expect from Mr Gilani?

Chaudhry Nisar was hardly better, pointing out to Erdogan immediately that the opposition was in the Parliament because of him (how lovely!). He then proceeded to talk about how Pakistan was facing problems from all sides instead of talking about Pakistan and Turkey and using the opportunity to properly welcome Mr Erdogan.

Other than this, I think Gilani is a little confused about where Erdogan stands; Gilani called Turkey a role model for the Muslim world in democracy, forgetting, it seems that Turkey is strictly secular, something not acceptable to most Muslim nations.

Personally, I’m all for following Turkey’s example, but it seems at little strange to call someone your role model when you don’t accept their ideology. Watch the video and you’ll see for yourself!

Muhammad Hassan

Muhammad Hassan

A student of A-Levels at Beaconhouse. He tweets @MHassan02

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Asad

    ‘Pakistani prime minister would have the good sense ‘ isn’t this an oxymoron.Recommend

  • galli ki larki

    PTV is at its best jb ‘biraadar mulk’ se koe a jae.. more news fodder for ‘watne azeez k hum watno’Recommend

  • Bruce Banner

    Gilani is really ignorant just like many people in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Khawar

    told ya the guy’s perfect for Saturday night live….stand up comedy at its best-Gillani…Recommend

  • Parvez

    After watching the CNN interview of Gillani and Becky Anderson, nothing surprises about this man.Recommend

  • http://NewYork Falcon

    I agree with most of it except your bashing of Gilani on the bit about Khilafat movement. It would benefit to understand that Turkey’s adoption of Kemal Pasha ideology was a reactionary mechanism to how it felt dishonored after World War I and wanted to climb back to glory at the fastest pace. This does not mean that they have disowned their past. Otherwise, they would plunge into identity crisis just like we have. On the contrary, Turkish nation is one of the most proud and confident nation about its culture and history. So, Gilani referring to Khilafat movement in my view is not that misplaced because it conveys the theme that we were there for you even in your worst times and our current relationship is not new or transactional.Recommend

  • Muhammad Hassan

    Please get your facts right, it was not a reactionary mechanism. The Turkish War of Independence followed the partiotioning of the Ottoman Empire and after the allies were defeated, the Republic of Turkey was declared in October 1923.

    The authority of the Sultan had ceased to exist when the British occupied the city at the end of the war, but in the end, he was sent packing NOT BECAUSE Turkey felt dishonored, but because the Turks wanted to establish a modern, democratic state. Plus, the Sultan was not kicked out until November 1922, three years after the end of the war.

    The Turks have not forgotten their past, but they aren’t nostalgic for the Sultans either. Just like the British would not want authority to pass to the Royal Family again.

    Even ignoring the fact that we weren’t THERE AT ALL, because we DID NOT EXIST, its a bit like a French president going to Britain and talking about French help in the American Revolutionary War as an example of how old the association between the two countries is. Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Pakistan did exist, we may not have had the name Pakistan at that time, but Pakistan has always existed.Recommend

  • Abid P Khan

    @Bruce Banner:

    “Gilani is really ignorant just like many people in Pakistan.”

    He is the true representative of the nation.Recommend

  • Loneliberal PK

    “You would think that the Pakistani PM would have the good sense not to….”

    Why would anyone think that after watching his CNN interview?

    What more will it take before you would stop thinking that the Pakistani PM has good sense?Recommend

  • Iqbaal

    @Mustafa Moiz:

    What? Please enlighten us. Where did Pakistan exist? If it was upto Maulana Maudoodi, it would not exit even today.Recommend