An impressive ceremony to mark the 87th Independence Day of Republic of Turkey was held at Chief Minister’s Secretariat here today. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, Turkish Ambassador Babur Hizlan, US Consul General Carmella Conroy, Iranian Consul General Ali Nekan, Archbishop of Lahore Alexander John Malik, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Members of national and provincial assemblies, intellectuals, columnists, editors, industrialists and people from different walks of life were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, the Chief Minister said that it is the first time in the history of Pakistan that Turkish Independence Day is being celebrated in Lahore. He also felicitated the people of Turkey on their 87th Independence Day. He said that Turkey and Pakistan are bonded in religious, cultural and historical ties and Turkey has always supported Pakistan in difficult times. He said that during recent floods Turkish brethren actively took part in the relief work for the flood hit people in the affected districts and the people of Pakistan are grateful to them for their help.
He said that after flood the when the Turkish Prime Minister could not come to Pakistan due to his engagements he sent his wife to look after the flood victims and after success in referendum he immediately came to Pakistan and personally gave the keys of the houses constructed by Turkish welfare organization to the flood affectees. He said that the progress made by Turkey is an example for Pakistan as well as other developing countries of the world. He said that Turkey and Pakistan have close fraternal relations but these are not fully reflected in their economic and trade ties. He said that there is a need for promoting cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan in economic and trade sectors.
Turkish Ambassador Babur Hizlan thanked the Chief Minister on holding a ceremony on the 87th independence day of Turkish Republic. He said that Pakistan and Turkey have deep-rooted historical relations and the Turk people consider Pakistan as their second home. He said that relations between the two countries are growing with the passage of time and are role a model for other states. He said that the ties between Turkey and Pakistan are time tested and both the countries have supported each other on international forums. Later, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish Ambassador Babur Hizlan cut the cake of the Independence Day of Republic of Turkey.