Immense opportunities for Turkish investors in Pakistan’s scenic northern areas, says minister
Pakistan has invited Turkey to invest in the country’s northern areas and help boost tourism in the scenic region, state media reported on Friday.
The offer was extended by Ali Amin Gandapur, minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, in a meeting with Gokhan Umut, head of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Pakistan, according to the state-run Radio Pakistan.
Around 2 million tourists visit these picturesque Gilgit-Baltistan areas every year, Gandapur told Umut, emphasizing the immense opportunities for Turkish and other foreign investors in the region’s tourism sector.
He said the government is working to set up economic zones in Gilgit-Baltistan, which will open new avenues for industrial development in the region.
The economic zones are part of the multibillion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor, an extensive network of roads, railways, and pipelines that aims to connect China’s strategically important northwestern Xinjiang province to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province.
The mountainous region of Gilgit Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas, borders China and is a gateway for the economic corridor.
Sharing details of TIKA’s activities in Pakistan, Umut said the agency is prepared to undertake development projects in Pakistani-administered Jammu and Kashmir as well as Gilgit Baltistan.
“TIKA is working with Pakistan in its social, health, and education sectors and is always ready to cooperate for the welfare of the people of Pakistan,” he said.
Turkey’s support ‘pivotal’ for Kashmir, Muslim world
The Pakistani minister also lauded Turkey’s unwavering support for the people of Kashmir and its willingness to raise a voice for Muslims oppressed around the world.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always taken a clear stance on the Kashmir issue, and the government and people of Pakistan thank Turkey for its continued support,” Gandapur said.
His remarks followed similar comments by Shehryar Afridi, the head of Pakistan’s Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, who hailed Erdogan’s “pivotal role” in the Muslim world and highlighting the Kashmir issue internationally.
“Turkey has been playing a leading role in uniting the entire Muslim community against its common enemies,” Afridi said in a meeting with Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Yurdakul on Thursday.