To “personally communicate deep condolences” for the loss of precious lives brought on by the powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkiye and neighboring Syria on Feb. 6, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will go to Turkiye on Thursday (today) for a two-day visit.
The FO stated in a press release that the premier will meet with Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Turkey’s capital city of Ankara to “personally convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of the entire Pakistani nation over the loss of precious lives and the widespread damage caused by the earthquake.”
The prime minister will visit the southern Turkiye earthquake-affected areas and communicate with the Pakistani search and rescue personnel stationed there as well as disaster survivors.
According to the FO, the premier would “reiterate Pakistan’s firm commitment to stand by the Turkish people during these difficult times and to continue extending all possible support to the ongoing relief effort,” calling the trip a “special gesture of solidarity and support with the people of Turkiye.”
The FO stated that the premier had promised Erdogan “of all possible cooperation for the rescue and relief effort,” recalling aid given by Pakistan in the shape of relief supplies and rescue teams. “All available resources have been fully mobilized to help our Turkish brothers and sisters. The prime minister is personally overseeing the relief effort,” it added.
The FO asserted: “Pakistan and Türkiye enjoy deep fraternal ties. Our two countries have resolutely stood by each other during every trial and tribulation.” “True to the spirit of one nation living in two states, we consider their loss as ours,” the premier wrote in a tweet announcing his visit.
Shehbaz stated, “Natural disasters, [such as] the earthquake in Turkey & Syria, are beyond the capacity of any one government to handle,” in an apparent reference to the disastrous floods that Pakistan endured during the monsoon season last year.
“No nation, no matter how resourceful, can handle the destruction of this magnitude. It is time for the entire globe to step forward and offer assistance to the suffering people.
Originally scheduled on February 8, Prime Minister Shehbaz’s visit was postponed the day before departure in light of the ongoing relief efforts in Turkiye. He sent a 51-member rescue team the day after the earthquake struck Turkiye and established a relief fund for the nation that had been devastated by the quake as part of a great show of support. Following the first assistance, additional aid has also been sent, including relief supplies, tents, and a medical team.